Dominic Thiem Set For Monte Carlo Return After ‘Worst’ Injury Of His Career

The Austrian No.1 is hoping to get back on track as he continues his recovery from an ankle problem

Dominic Thiem (zimbio.com)

After a month-long absence from the tour, Dominic Thiem is hoping to make up for lost time at the Monte Carlo Masters this week.

The 24-year-old was forced to miss the Miami Open and Davis Cup after suffering a small fracture in his right ankle. He picked up the injury during his third round match against Pablo Cuevas at the BNP Paribas Masters. Since then, the Austrian has branded the injury as ‘the worst’ in his career to date. Although his woes are quite minimal compared to other players such as Juan Martin del Potro and Rafael Nadal.

“It’s good. I mean, I would say it’s almost 100 per cent. I had a good recovery.” Thiem told atpworldtour.com about the current state of his injury. “There is pain here and there when I do a wrong step, but all in all I am really satisfied with the recovery.”

Heading into the clay swing of the season, Thiem is hoping to continue his strong record on the surface. Seven out of his nine ATP title have been on the clay, including one from this year’s Argentina Open. He is also a two-time French Open semifinalist and finished runner-up to Nadal at last year’s Madrid Open.

“For me, it’s really natural. I don’t have any problems.” The Austrian said about playing on the surface. “I just step onto the clay and I feel at home because I grew up on it. Of course, there are a few transitions that you can make.”

Currently ranked seventh in the world, Thiem will be under pressure to perform well in the upcoming tournaments. Until the conclusion of the French Open, he has a total of 2070 points to defend on the tour. The second highest for a top 10 player behind Nadal.

“For me it’s a very important part of the season, obviously, and I have a lot of pressure, a lot of points to defend,” Thiem stated. “If I don’t do it I’m going to drop in the [ATP] Rankings, so big times are coming up for me, but I’m pretty relaxed. This tournament here is to fight again, to hopefully get some matches under my belt and then hopefully I can [be in] my best shape during the clay-court season.”

Seeded fifth in Monte Carlo, Thiem will start his campaign against either Andrey Rublev or Robin Haase. He will be bidding to reach the quarter-finals of the event for the first time in his career in what will be his fifth appearance in the tournament.

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