Dominic Thiem Suffers Worst Loss Of His Professional Tennis Career

Dominic Thiem Suffers Worst Loss Of His Professional Tennis Career

by Erik Virostko

Last updated

Dominic Thiem suffered arguably the worst defeat of his professional tennis career at the ATP Challenger event in Hungary.

The Austrian made a decision to skip the Sunshine Double and play in ATP Challenger tournaments to regain confidence. While others are battling it out in Indian Wells, Thiem made his way to Szekesfehervar in Hungary.

As the top seed at the tournament, despite currently being ranked only as the world no. 91, he was granted at least two relatively easy matches before taking on one of the fellow seeded players at the event.

However, Thiem didn't get to one of those matches, as he was shockingly eliminated by the world no. 295, a qualifier at the event, Daniel Michalski from Poland.

The Austrian actually started the match very well. He broke his opponent in the opening game and had another break point to go 3-0 up in the opening set. However, he couldn't use any of his following three break points in the first set, and he also struggled on his own serve.

Thiem lost his serve two times in the first set, and as he was unable to add to the opening break, he lost the set 3-6, with an uphill battle left, having to win two sets in a row to make it to the second round of the tournament.

The start of the second set was disastrous for the former world no. 3. At one point, he lost nine consecutive points, as his Polish opponent was able to establish a one-break lead once again.

This time around, the 2020 US Open champion had only one chance to break back, and he didn't use to, eventually losing the match in two sets, 3-6, 4-6.

The loss to the world no. 295, who has never been ranked higher than no. 243, marks Thiem's worst loss of his entire professional career. He was beaten by an opponent ranked lower than no. 295 only four times in his career, and every time, the ranking was influenced by a prolonged injury of his opponent.

Only recently, he lost to Rafael Nadal in Brisbane, and since the Spanish player spent almost a year away from the courts, his rankings plummeted to world no. 672.

The same applies to his loss to Viktor Troicki in 2014, as the Serbian was then ranked 847th, but he was a former world no. 12 coming back after a long hiatus that year.

The cases of Mischa Zverev (no. 502, who was previously no. 45) in 2015 and Jurgen Melzer in Kitzbuhel in 2016 (no. 421, who was previously no. 8) were exactly the same.

That wasn't the case with Michalski, whose current ranking likely also represents his current level. He's been unable to break into the Top 200 on the ATP Tour in his career.

Thiem knew the risk of playing lower-tier Challenger events was exactly a loss like this, which could do exactly the opposite to his confidence as he wanted. Still, he'll have to deal with it fairly quickly to do well at the following ATP Challenger and erase the loss from his mind.

The next on the 30-year-old's schedule should be the ATP Challenger 75 tournament in Zadar, Croatia - the Falkensteiner Punta Skala Zadar Open, held from March 18th to 24th, 2024.


You may also like