Retiring tennis great dealt sad blow ahead of farewell

Retiring tennis great dealt sad blow ahead of farewell

One-time tennis grand slam champion Dominic Thiem has not been given a wildcard entry to the French Open later this month.

The retiring 30-year-old is a two-time finalist at Rolland Garros, having lost the 2018 and 2019 deciders to the king of clay, Rafael Nadal.

But with his currently ATP world ranking having blown out to 117, Thiem did not earn automatic qualification into the second grand slam of the year.

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That means he required wildcard selection to be be thrown straight into the main draw, which he did not receive.

In a statement, the French Tennis Federation confirmed the majority of the available slots would be handed to home players.

Thiem will now have to go through qualifying, which starts on Monday, if he is to earn a Paris farewell.

“Dominic Thiem did not receive a wildcard for Roland Garros,” The Tennis Letter said.

“He’s a two-time finalist and played some truly unforgettable matches there that will live on for years to come. In his last season on tour, this just doesn’t feel right.”

Dominic Thiem is a two-time finalist at the French Open. Dominic Thiem is a two-time finalist at the French Open.
Dominic Thiem is a two-time finalist at the French Open. Credit: Erick W. Rasco/Sports Illustrated via Getty Ima

Fans on social media are fuming with the decision, calling it “embarrassing”, “shameful” and “absolute disrespect”.

News emerged earlier this month the Austrian would call time on his decorated tennis career at the end of this season, having succumbed to a wretched run of injuries.

Thiem rose to a career-high No.3 in the world in 2020 after reaching the final of the Australian Open that year when he lost to Novak Djokovic in five sets.

He won the US Open in 2020 after coming back from two sets down to defeat Alexander Zverev in a gripping final.

Thiem reacts after winning the US Open.Thiem reacts after winning the US Open.
Thiem reacts after winning the US Open. Credit: AAP

But after hitting hose lofty heights, Thiem endured a wretched run with injuries with a wrist problem in 2021 keeping him sidelined for the best part of a year.

The much-loved player was never able to recapture his best form and tumbled down the rankings.

Just last month, Thiem said he was still struggling with his wrist problem.

“As I said in my last interview, I’m not the player of 2020 anymore,” he wrote on Instagram.

“I have to deal with the current situation, with the fact that my wrist doesn’t give me the strength it used to.

“I have to be honest with myself. The pain is a lot less compared to the last few weeks, but like I said, I haven’t regained my full strength.”

Fans were devastated by the latest news.

“You have to feel for him. He’s had a terrible time with injuries and just hasn’t been able to rediscover the magic, but he certainly tried. Hoping his last year will give him some unforgettable moments,” one said.

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