Dominic Thiem seemingly took a ‘huge step back’ ahead of Roland Garros as he could muster only five games against Britain’s Cameron Norrie at the ATP event in Lyon on Thursday.
“It was a huge disappointment just now. Just also a big, I would stay, step backwards after promising tournaments in Madrid and Rome. I don’t really know why,” Thiem admitted after going down 3-6, 2-6 to Norrie in the second round.
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“I was preparing well here, practising well and just didn’t find any rhythm, any strokes. Don’t really know what happened.
“But as I said, it’s just a huge step back. I was hoping to take the little positive signs from Madrid and Rome here, but it didn’t work out. I have to analyse [it] now and look [towards] Roland Garros.”
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The World No. 4 took nearly two months off after losing in Dubai in March. Thiem competed well to make the Madrid semi-finals and dropped a physical slugfest against eventual semi-finalist Lorenzo Sonego in Rome, so he was expecting to improve even more in Lyon.
“It’s not good for the confidence. To be honest, the way I played today, I was expecting that more to come in Madrid because I hadn’t played for so long,” Thiem said.
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“But now I was back in the match rhythm and actually hoping for good tennis. I don’t know what to say or what to think. That’s why I need to analyse it and just need to work hard for Roland Garros and [I am] hoping for the best there.”
The two-time Roland Garros finalist said he might watch matches he played on clay two years ago to try to pick things up from when he was at top form.
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“I was practising quite well the days I’ve been at home and the days before the match here, so it’s more the matches [I need to figure out],” Thiem said.
“I need to find a way back somehow. The next match is already the first round at Roland Garros and until that day I need to hopefully sort it out.”
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Thiem has quickly found his form before. At last year’s Western & Southern Open, which was held at Flushing Meadows, he only won three games in an opening-round loss against Filip Krajinovic.
At the same site, the Austrian then won his first Grand Slam title at the US Open.
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“I’m still [trying] to find the way I’m playing. I felt that I was on the right way in Madrid and Rome and the match against Sonego wasn’t bad at all. There were many long rallies,” Thiem said.
“Today again I felt a little bit uncomfortable to play in these long rallies and rushing a bit [a few] of them. That’s how it is.”