Dominic Thiem won his first match in 14 months as he battled to a 3-6, 6-1, 7-6(5) first-round victory against Emil Ruusuvuori on Tuesday in Bastad.
It was the Austrian’s first tour-level win since May 2021. The 2020 US Open champion spent nine months out of action due to a wrist injury.
“It’s a long time,” said Thiem in his on-court interview.
“My last victory was in Rome in 2021, it feels like a different world somehow. Many, many things happened.
“It was tough, but it was also a very good experience, I think, for life in general. I’m so happy that I got this first victory here today.”
Despite some nervous moments in the deciding-set tie-break, Thiem stayed solid to clinch just his second win at any level in 2022 having saved eight of 12 break points.
“It was a very difficult match,” said Thiem.
“I didn’t have a very good start and then I fought really well, but I had a really tough period with many losses and not many wins, so it was really difficult for me to close out the match.
“Even though I played pretty good in the second and third sets. I have to control the nerves a little bit better, especially when it gets to the end.”
Thiem’s will take on Roberto Bautista Agut in the second round on Thursday.