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Thiem & Wawrinka’s comebacks end in first round in Marbella Challenger

Former US Open champion Dominic Thiem and three-time Grand Slam winner Stan Wawrinka were both knocked out of the ATP Challenger in Marbella on Tuesday in the first match of their comebacks

Austria's Dominic Thiem in action at the ATP Masters 1000 in Rome in May 2021 Austria’s Dominic Thiem in action at the ATP Masters 1000 in Rome in May 2021 Image Credit: AI / Reuters / Panoramic

Two former Grand Slam champions made their long-awaited return to the tennis circuit on Tuesday at the Andalucia Open ATP Challenger event in Marbella, Spain but were both were defeated in straight sets in their first round matches.

Three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka was the first of the two to take to the court in Marbella, playing his first match after a year on the sidelines due to a foot injury.

This was the 36-year-old Wawrinka’s first ATP match since Doha in March 2021 following which he sustained a foot injury which required surgery and extensive rehabilitation. Wawrinka’s rustiness showed as 25-year-old Elias Ymer, a semi-finalist at the ATP Pune 250 event earlier this year, won the first set 6-2 easily.

The Swiss went up an early break to go up 4-1 in the second set but Ymer, ranked No 131 in the world, won the last five games in a row to score a straight sets win in one hour and 34 minutes in the first meeting between the two players.

Thiem follows Wawrinka out of the Marbella Challenger

Following Wawrinka on to the court was 2020 US Open champion Dominic Thiem, who was playing his first match since last June due to a right wrist injury.

The Austrian started off his match against Argentina’s Pedro Cachin, ranked No 228 in the world, losing the first five games before getting on the scoreboard.

However, Cachin managed to win the set 6-3, and then broke late in the second set to complete the 6-3, 6-4 upset win over the top seed in one hour and 21 minutes.

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