Former World No. 3 Dominic Thiem suffered a fresh setback less than 24 hours after he played his first competitive match since last June at the Marbella Challenger. Thiem shared the latest news on all his social media handles that he had tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday morning.
The hard-hitting Austrian made his much-anticipated return to action at this week’s low-key clay-court tournament in Marbella. He was joined in the draw alongside another long absentee in Stan Wawrinka.
Dominic Thiem returns to action after recovering from a wrist injury
Thiem picked up a freak wrist injury last June at the Mallorca Open and was forced to shut down his 2021 season immediately. As a result, he spent the second half of last season nursing the injury. Thiem aimed to make his comeback at the Abu Dhabi Exhibition during the off-season. But those plans were quickly dashed, citing the need to regain full fitness before competing at the top level.
Looks like lately the good news don’t last long – last night after dinner, I started feeling unwell and didn’t have a good night. After developing mild symptoms I decided to take a test this morning, which came back positive for COVID-19.
— Dominic Thiem (@domithiem) March 30, 2022
Despite undergoing a lengthy and painful rehabilitation process, the 28-year-old disclosed that he did not require surgery at any point. His comeback was delayed again after withdrawing from the entire Australian summer series. He also passed upon the opportunity of returning to Indian Wells where he won the 2019 title and has since not defended his crown.
Thiem falls to Pedro Cachin in Marbella
Thiem was given a reality check by Argentina’s Pedro Cachin in his first match in nine months. In spite of his status as the top speed, the Austrian was rusty, particularly on his serve. He accumulated four double faults and dropped served three times. Still, it felt like a case of Thiem losing a battle but winning the war.
“Today is one of those days with big emotions and mixed feelings. You can imagine how happy I was today to be on a tennis court, doing what I love the most: playing tennis and competing again,” Thiem wrote on his Instagram page following his straight-set defeat to Pedro Cachin.
He added, “After all these months, all those setbacks I had in the past few months, I was able to play again to feel the adrenaline of the competition. I felt like a player again.”
The Austrian is scheduled to appear at a Tour-level event at next month’s Grand Prix Hassan II in Marrakesh. But following his latest positive coronavirus test, Thiem could pull out for the umpteenth time.
Main Photo from Getty.