'Tough to watch': Tennis world shattered over French Open moment

·Sports Editor
·5-min read
Dominic Thiem, pictured here in the first round of the French Open.
Dominic Thiem's struggles continued in the first round of the French Open. Image: Getty

Two-time finalist Dominic Thiem has crashed out of the French Open in the first round, continuing the Austrian star's struggles since his return from injury.

A former US Open champion, Thiem lost in straight sets to Bolivian World No.87 Hugo Dellien on the opening day at Roland Garros.

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Thiem capitulated 6-3 6-2 6-4 in just over two hours.

The Austrian, who has failed to win a match at any of the tournaments he has played since his return from a wrist injury in March, made 42 unforced errors as his once-dominant clay-court game deserted him on Sunday.

"It was not a good match at all but it is what it is," Thiem, ranked third in the world in 2021 compared to his current 194th, said.

"I knew it would take time and the level is extremely high.

"It is going to take a few more months until I say now I am ready to beat those guys again."

The 28-year-old struggled with his forehand throughout the match and said it was now time to compete in lower-tier tournaments to get some match wins under his belt.

"The problem is in practice it is really decent but a match situation is something different, grand slam especially. I am definitely thinking to go back to Challenger level for one or two tournaments," he said.

Hugo Dellien, pictured here shaking hands with Dominic Thiem after their clash at the French Open.
Hugo Dellien shakes hands with Dominic Thiem after their clash at the French Open. (Photo by Andy Cheung/Getty Images)

"I am more tight, more nervous and the whole body gets more tight. This is toxic to my forehand because I am still missing the fine feeling there."

Dellien, comfortable on the surface after battling through the qualifiers to reach the main draw in all five clay-court tournaments leading up to the French Open, did not have to wait long for his chance.

He earned his first break point in Thiem's opening service game and broke him on his second to race through the first set.

Two quick breaks in the second wrapped it up for Dellien, with Thiem, who injured his wrist in Mallorca in 2021 and required surgery, struggling with for consistency throughout.

Tennis fans and commentators were left shocked and saddened.

Carlos Alcaraz eases into second round at French Open

Elsewhere, Spanish teenager Carlos Alcaraz steamrolled past Argentine lucky loser Juan Ignacio Londero 6-4 6-2 6-0.

Alcaraz, who won the Barcelona Open and Madrid Masters in the lead-up to Roland Garros, needed just one set to adjust to the immense Court Philippe Chatrier to set up a meeting with fellow Spaniard Albert Ramos-Vinolas.

The 19-year-old sixth seed, who reached the third round as a qualifier last year in Paris, has won four titles this year and arrived at the French Open established as one of the title favourites.

"This tournament is very special, I've been watching it since I was a kid," he said.

Carlos Alcaraz, pictured here in action against Juan Ignacio Londero at the French Open.
Carlos Alcaraz in action against Juan Ignacio Londero at the French Open. (Photo by Andy Cheung/Getty Images)

Meanwhile, Canadian ninth seed Felix Auger-Aliassime fought back from two sets down to beat Peru's Juan Pablo Varillas 2-6 2-6 6-1 6-3 6-3.

German third seed Alexander Zverev had an easier passage, winning 6-2 6-4 6-4 against Austrian qualifier Sebastian Ofner.

"Usually I start a grand slam tournament with a five-set match and a few hours on court, but (coach) Sergi (Bruguera) told me today not to do that so I listened to him for once," Zverev said.

Big-serving American John Isner converted only one break point but won three tiebreaks against Quentin Halys to advance with a 7-6 (7-3) 4-6 7-6 (7-1) 7-6 (7-6) victory.

with AAP

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