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Dominic Thiem restarts comeback in Belgrade: "I have only practiced for 10 days"
After numerous delays and interruptions, the former world No. 3 is hoping to turn the page and begin his season in earnest at the ATP 250 event.
Published Apr 18, 2022
WATCH: The Break: Thiem comeback on hold as the Austrian contracts COVID-19 after competing in Marbella
Dominic Thiem is aiming to get back on court and compete again following numerous delays and interruptions this season, as he prepares to restart his comeback this week at the ATP 250 event in Belgrade.
Thiem fell in the first round of the ATP Marbella Challenger three weeks ago and had been scheduled to next play Marrakech, but instead had to go into isolation after testing positive for COVID-19.
"I am very happy to be back on court in Belgrade," he was quoted by Serbian press as saying. "I started at the Challenger in Marbella, then I tested positive for coronavirus, and stopped again, so I have only practiced for 10 days.
“It's not ideal preparation, but it's my first tournament. I hope to play good matches."
It has by now also become somewhat familiar. The 28-year-old Austrian was competing at the grass-court event in Mallorca in 2021 when he injured his wrist, eventually requiring surgery and keeping him off the tour for the rest of the season. He was scheduled to return at the Australian Open, but decided he was not yet fit enough following an exhibition in Abu Dhabi.
Another scheduled start at the ATP 250 event in Cordoba was delayed by a hand injury, and while he did finally return to court Marbella, illness has hampered his training.
But Thiem, who won the 2020 US Open, is looking to compete hard even if he's not playing his best tennis yet.
"It's important that I fight for every point, get back my level again," said the two-time French Open finalist. "Roland Garros is an especially important tournament for me."
Ranked as high as No. 3 in 2020, Thiem has dropped to No. 54 in the rankings while not playing.
He will face Australia’s John Millman on Tuesday in his opening match in Belgrade.