Thiem Loses Comeback Match In Marbella

Dominic Thiem (photo: Brigitte Urban)


Despite a short rain delay in Southern Spain, Tuesday was a big tennis day in Marbella, as Grand Slam champions Dominic Thiem and Stan Wawrinka made their eagerly-awaited return to action at the AnyTech365 Andalucia Open after prolonged injury struggles.

In his first match after 285 days, Thiem lost in the opening round of the ATP Challenger Tour 125 clay-court tournament 6-3, 6-4 to Argentine alternate Pedro Cachin. The top seed from Austria, who has not played since suffering a wrist injury at the 2021 Mallorca Championships and has slipped to 50th in the world rankings, lost his serve three times. Cachin won 54 per cent of the total points played to secure victory in one hour and 21 minutes.

“I wanted to let you all know how I feel. Today’s been one of those days with big emotions, with mixed feelings,” Thiem said. “You can all imagine how happy I have been today being on a tennis court, doing what I love the most: I was able to play tennis and compete again. After all these months, all those set backs I had, I was able to play again to feel the adrenaline of the competition. I felt again a player.

“Obviously the result today is the bitter part, I would have wanted to win and I have to accept in a humble way the defeat. This is only the beginning of a long way to the top of my game, this is something I knew it could happen and the only thing I can say is that I am going to give it all to try to come back to my best level. Once again I want to thank all of you for your support and you can count on me to try and give my best.”

World No. 228 Cachin will next take on in-form Frenchman Manuel Guinard, who captured his maiden Challenger title at the Regione Abruzzo Aterno Gas & Power Cup in Roseto, Italy two weeks ago. The 26-year-old from Saint-Melo defeated Spanish qualifier Javier Barranco Cosano 6-2, 7-6(3) after one hour and 28 minutes.

Wawrinka falls to Ymer

Earlier in the day, Wawrinka was also making his return to the courts from a long-term left foot injury. The three-time Grand Slam champion needed to undergo two surgeries and played his first match since March last year. Wild card entry Wawrinka, who has dropped to World No. 232 in the ATP Rankings, was beaten 6-2, 6-4 by Elias Ymer from Sweden in one hour and 34 minutes.

“Physically it was good. I am very positive,” Wawrinka said afterwards. “I am super happy to be back at a tournament to feel the emotions, feeling the stress of a match again. I was focused and was trying my best with the level I have right now. I knew it would be difficult but in general it was a positive week for me. I practiced well and continued to keep up building for the upcoming weeks.”

The 37-year-old Swiss was broken three times in the first set and struggled to create any opportunities on return. The second set was more competitive as Wawrinka broke twice to move 4-1 ahead. However, Ymer fought back and won five games in a row to book his spot in the second round at the Club de Tenis Puente Romano.

“I think I will be much better and at a competitive level at the start of the French Open. I am not worried for Roland-Garros, Wimbledon or later but I need to be focused on the moment and what I need to do on a daily basis to get to the level I want to be,” he said. Wawrinka will next compete in ATP Masters 1000 event in Monte-Carlo in two weeks.

Tuesday Results 

Singles – First Round[Alt] P. Cachin (ARG) d [1] [WC] D. Thiem (AUT) 63 64[2] A. Molcan (SVK) d F. Agamenone (ITA) 63 76(3)[3] P. Andujar (ESP) d A. Pellegrino (ITA) 61 46 62[5] R. Carballes Baena (ESP) d N. Milojevic (SRB) 63 76(1)[6] J. Munar (ESP) d [Q] A. Shevchenko 62 62[8] C. Taberner (ESP) d [Q] C. Gomez-Herrera (ESP) 64 75M. Guinard (FRA) d [Q] J. Barranco Cosano (ESP) 62 76(3)E. Ymer (SWE) d [WC] S. Wawrinka (SUI) 62 64F. Gaio (ITA) d [Q] P. Martin Tiffon (ESP) 61 10 RetiredN. Gombos (SVK) d [WC] C. Gimeno Valero (ESP) 64 61[LL] N. Alvarez Varona (ESP) d [Q] L. Klein (SVK) 76(5) 64B. Zapata Miralles (ESP) d [Q] R. Brancaccio (ITA) 63 64

Doubles – First Round[2] H. Nys (MON) / J. Zielinski (POL) d Y. Hanfmann (GER) / A. Menendez-Maceiras (ESP) 64 62[3] H. Heliovaara (FIN) / N. Lammons (USA) d N. Gombos (SVK) / L. Klein (SVK) 76(4) 63