“From tennis heaven to tennis hell” – Thiem devastated after five-set loss in Roland-Garros first round

After building some momentum across the last six weeks, Dominic Thiem is devastated to have lost his first-round Roland-Garros match against Pedro Cachin

Dominic Thiem at the 2023 Monte-Carlo Masters Dominic Thiem at the 2023 Monte-Carlo Masters Image Credit: AI/Reuters/Panoramic

Dominic Thiem has expressed extreme disappointment at losing in the first round of Roland-Garros on day two of the tournament.

The former world No 3 started poorly against No 64 Pedro Cachin, conceding a 2-0 set lead within the first hour and a quarter. However, Thiem fought back valiantly, levelling the scores at 2-2 by winning two tight sets.

In the deciding set, the Austrian was unable to finish the task, losing the match in five sets.

With the 6-3, 6-2, 6-7, 4-6, 6-2 scoreline condemning Thiem to the sidelines for at least another fortnight, it’s a bitter pill to swallow for the 29-year-old.

“I missed to do the last step”: Thiem comes agonisingly close against Cachin

Thiem was the first to admit that he started poorly in his match against Cachin, confessing that he was playing very tight.

“I didn’t start well at all. How should I say, I was very tight. What I was expecting I had very, very good practice sets, but most of the times in the first real match it’s not that easy, and that’s what happened.”

“I was fighting back great, starting to play a bit better.”

Dominic Thiem

Despite Thiem’s slow start, he reigned in the unforced errors and began striking the ball cleaner, making more winners in the third and fourth sets. When it came to closing out the match in the fifth set, however, the Austrian stumbled.

“I was fighting back great, starting to play a bit better.  And then, yeah, I missed to do the last step, to reward myself, to give myself a chance to play a second round maybe a little bit looser. I was not able to do it. Yeah, that’s how it is now.”

“From tennis heaven to tennis hell”: Thiem’s promising run squashed out

Thiem is no stranger to defeat over the past 18 months. Since returning from an injury layoff, the former No 3 has failed to return to nearly the same level that saw him win the 2020 US Open and accrue 17 career titles.

However, the past six weeks have shown promise for Thiem, making this defeat particularly crushing.

“It’s tough obviously, but I’m really convinced with the way that I’m on right now, especially the last six weeks. That’s when I started to be really into my career again, really push myself every day to the limit.”

Thiem had begun to string some matches together, making the quarterfinals in Munich and Estoril, as well as a semifinal at the Mauthausen Challenger. To have his progress snuffed out so soon at Roland-Garros, felt like going “from tennis heaven, to tennis hell,” as Thiem described it.

“I was changing perspectives again and then changing my attitude again towards the game from thinking about giving 100 percent, but not really doing it, to really doing it again.”

Thiem still positive about future in tennis

Despite the evident disappointment from this loss, Thiem is positive moving forward in 2023.

“The last six weeks were really good. But, yeah, obviously it’s not enough yet to play well, to play well in a tournament like that. But, yeah, again, I feel that I’m on the right track again. Today I just failed to reward myself.

“It’s just I have to continue.”

The world No 92 is prepared to put in the work to continue chasing tennis heaven, and we can expect to see more from him this season.

“Now hopefully back to tennis heaven. It was really, really great experiences like in the previous years, and now also it’s a very good challenge what I’m facing right now.”

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