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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Tuesday August 23, 2022

 
Dominic Thiem

Dominic Thiem earned his first hard court win in over a year at Winston-Salem.

Photo Source: Mark Peterson/ Corleve

Playing in his first hard court match in 18 months, Dominic Thiem’s back was firmly against the wall in the third set of his opening-round match with JJ Wolf. Down 6-4 in the third-set tiebreak it looked like Thiem’s trip to the Winston-Salem Open might be a short one.

Tennis Express

But the former World No.3 reeled off four consecutive bold points, saving a pair of match points in the process, to lock down the 6-7(5), 7-5, 7-6(6) victory and a second-round clash with Grigor Dimitrov.

"I told myself, 'It's 4-6, now or never,'" Thiem said. "I released a little bit and it went perfectly. Four winners in a row from 4/6 to 8/6."


The win marks Thiem’s first hard court victory since Doha in March of 2021. Since then the 28-year-old Austrian has struggled with a wrist injury and a hand injury that sapped him of form and confidence after forcing him off the tour for nine months.

It has been a slow and painful process for Thiem, who returned to the tour in April and snapped a nine-match tour-level winning streak in Bastad this summer. Thiem has eight wins to his name over the last month-plus, but Monday's triumph was extra special because it marked his first hard court win of the season.

The World No.231 will be back at the US Open next week, making his first appearance in New York since he won the title in 2020.

There was a 90-minute rain delay at 3-2 in the third set, which caused the match to finish after midnight. Thiem is scheduled to play Dimitrov tomorrow evening at 7 PM local time.


 

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