Two-Time Finalist Dominic Thiem Crashes Out Of French Open - UBITENNIS
Connect with us


Two-Time Finalist Dominic Thiem Crashes Out Of French Open

The Austrian’s roller-coaster season continues with him yet to win a match this year.



Dominic Thiem - Roland Garros 2020 (via Twitter, @rolandgarros)

For the second year in a row Dominic Thiem has lost his opening match at the French Open after falling in straight sets to Hugo Dellien.


Thiem, who has fallen down the world rankings to 194th due to injury, was unable to control his unforced error count throughout his 6-3, 6-2, 6-4, loss. He produced glimmers of his best form, particularly when it came to hitting backhand winners down the line, but the inconsistency was his undoing. Resulting in a clinical Dellien charging to only his third main draw win in a Grand Slam tournament. During the match Thiem hit a staggering 42 unbforced erros which was 28 more than his oponent.

“I think this is the best win career so it’s a very special day,” Dellien said during his on-court interview.
“Dominic is such a good player that he will for sure come back a higher level and fight for the best places in this tournament.”
He added.

After being sidelined from the Tour for nine months between 2021-2022 due to a right wrist injury, Thiem has endured a disappointing return to competitive tennis. Coming into this year’s French Open he was 0-6 in matches played so far this year and had only won one set which was against John Millman at the Serbian Open.

However, Paris has largely been a place full of happy memories for the 28-year-old Australian who reached the final in 2018 and 2019. Thiem has won more matches at the French Open (28) than any other Grand Slam tournament in his career. Until now, his only blip occurred 12 months ago when he suffered his first-ever first round loss at the tournament to Spain’s Fernando Verdasco.

It was evident that the former Grand Slam champion was physically and mentally far from his best. Playing into the hands of an inspired and clinical Dellien. A former world No.2 junior player who has won eight clay-court Challenger titles during his career. The Bolivian has been ranked as high as 72nd in the world.

Taking to court Simonne-Mathieu, Thiem found himself on the back foot early on due to some aggressive shot-making coming from across the court. Dellien, who was frustrated with the umpire giving him a time violation less than 20 minutes into the match, first drew blood in the fourth game when back-to-back Thiem unforced errors granted him a break as he surged to a 4-1 lead. The former world No.3 did produce glimmers of solid form, especially from the backhand side, but he was unable to recover. Paving way for Dellian to cinch the opener after a shot from his rival slammed into the net on set point.

Thiem’s woes continued into the second set after an error-stricken service game resulted in him getting broken once again. In total he produced six unforced errors during just two games. Meanwhile, Dellien continued his impressive solid form by producing some emphatic winners which earned him a growing fanbase among the crowd. During the second frame he produced just three unforced errors which was 10 less than that of Thiem.

Falling to a two-set deficit, Thiem looked spent on the court and emotionally flat. The mistakes started haemorrhaging from his racket on a more frequent basis throughout the third frame which silenced the French crowd.

In just under two hours Dellien worked his way to a game from victory. A clean forehand cross-court winner moved him to two match points. He converted his first with the help of yet another dismal unforced error from Thiem.

“It was not a good match at all, but it is what it is. I knew that it’s going to take time, that the level is extremely high from all the players competing here and I’m not there yet. I was really working hard to get there but the time was just not enough,” Thiem said during his press confrence.
I’m not missing one specific thing, but many things, actually. Obviously there’s not enough power yet in my shots and it’s not only the forehand, I have way too low percentage of first serve, the first serve is not hurting enough. The backhand is okay, but as well it’s not long enough, it’s not fast enough.” He added.

As a result of his loss, the French Open is the second Grand Slam tournament where Thiem has suffered consecutive first round defeats after Wimbledon (2018 and 2019). He hasn’t won a Tour match since May 2021 at the Italian Open.


Gael Monfils Targets Spot At Home Olympics Before Retirement 



Image via ATP Twitter

Gael Monfils may be starting his 2023 season later than usual but he isn’t contemplating stepping away from the sport anytime soon. 


The former top 10 star has been absent from the Tour since August due to a foot problem during what has been an injury-stricken year for the Frenchman. Monfils also missed the French Open and Wimbledon due to a heel injury which required surgery. Overall, he has won 14 out of 21 matches played on the Tour in 2022. 

Providing an update on his current fitness during an interview with Canal+, Monfils confirmed that he will not be playing at the Australian Open in January which will be the fourth major tournament in a row he has missed. Whilst his recovery is progressing well, he is targeting a return during the clay season which concludes at the French Open. He is also unable to access his protected ranking at Melbourne Park because the rulebook states that a player must be absent for at least six months to be eligible. 

“I know that there is a protected ranking, when you don’t play for a certain amount of months. I know that if I take it, I have to not play the Australian Open to reach the six months needed and that will be my decision,” Tennis Head quotes Monfils as saying.

However, the 36-year-old isn’t planning to stop playing just yet with aspirations to play at his home Olympic Games, which will be held in Paris in 2024. Monfils is already a three-time Olympian and has reached the quarter-finals of the singles tournament twice before. 

Despite some speculation over his retirement, Monfils hopes to continue playing until the age of 40. Although he admits this depends on his family after he and his wife Elina Svitolina welcomed their first child earlier this year.

“2023 is an important year for me, a year of transition, transition between my injuries and the fact to be competitive to try to qualify for Paris 2024. I would not like to miss the Olympics, it would be my last one,” he added.
“I hope that 2024 would not be my last year but maybe the one after that. Before, I said that I wanted to play until I’m 40 but the more time I spend with my daughter, the more time I’m thinking maybe I’ll play a bit less.”

Monfils has won 11 Tour titles so far in his career, including this year’s Adelaide International. He has reached at least one final every year since 2005. 

Continue Reading


The Year-End Rankings: The Rise Of Alcaraz And The Eternals, Djokovic and Nadal

Image via ATP Twitter



By Roberto Ferri

Let’s start our last article on the ATP rankings by quoting the words which are said to be the last of emperor Augustus: “The play is over, applaud”.


We cannot but applaud Novak Djokovic, six-time ATP Finals winner just like Roger Federer. And we applaud the season, which, for good or ill, has been unique. Just consider the most striking events: Carlos Alcaraz rising to No. 1, Roger Federer’s retirement, all the issues involving Djokovic and the Wimbledon affair.  

The top positions of the ranking have been significantly impacted by Djokovic’s absence from two Majors (Australian Open and US Open), four Masters 1000 (Indian Wells, Miami Open, Canadian Open, Cincinnati) and by ATP’s decision to not award points for Wimbledon.

If we compare the ATP rankings published after the ATP Finals in 2021 and 2022, this fact is clearly noticeable. 

22 NOVEMBER 2021

19Bautista AgutSpain2260
20Carreno BustaSpain2230

14 NOVEMBER 2022:

13Carreno BustaSpain2495

Novak Djokovic ended 2021 with 4720 points more than Carlos Alcaraz; also Medvedev and Tsitsipas earned more points than the Spaniard, who would not have reached 7000 points even counting the 135 points he wasn’t awarded at Wimbledon.

A few comments on the 2022 rankings:

  • Casper Ruud, the ATP Finals finalist, concludes his excellent year in third place, overtaking Stefanos Tsitsipas with an impressive final rush.
  • Novak Djokovic and Rafa Nadal are the only top 10 players born in the 80s; the other 8 were born in the second half of the 90s.
  • Cameron Norrie and Pablo Carreno Busta are the survivors of the lost generation, born between 1990 and 1995 and that was most overpowered by the Big Four dominance. 
  • Only North America, beyond Europe, is represented at the very highest: Auger Aliassime, Fritz, Shapovalov and Tiafoe.
  • Holger Rune has gained 92 positions since the start of the year. Carlos Alcaraz “just” 31.
  • A final note: Kei Nishikori ends 2022 without a ranking. Does this suggest he’s going to retire?


Owing to earned and dropped points, as well as results in the Challenger events, five players in the top 100 have achieved their career highest this week:

Emil Ruusuvuori – 40

Quentin Halys – 64

Christopher O’Connell – 79

Roman Safiullin – 89

Nuno Borges – 91

A special applause for the 20-year old Ben Shelton, a bright prospect for USA tennis, who has made his debut in the top 100. Thanks to his victory in the Champaign-Urbana Challenger he’s now ranked 97.

Is that all? Not yet! Just a quiz for everybody: which was the last year which saw the first two places in the rankings occupied at the end of the season by two players of the same nationality?

That’s really all for now. We’ll be back in 2023.

Translated by Kingsley Elliot Kaye

Continue Reading


ATP Finals Daily Preview: Novak Djokovic Faces Casper Ruud in the Championship Match



Novak Djokovic on Saturday in Turin (

The biggest ATP non-Major final of 2022 takes place on Sunday in Turin, Italy.


2022 has been a bizarre year in the career of Novak Djokovic.  It started with his deportation from Australia, forcing the unvaccinated Djokovic to miss the first Major of the year.  That would be one of six prominent events that Novak would miss this season due to COVID-19 entry rules (Australian Open, Indian Wells, Miami, Montreal, Cincinnati, US Open).  Yet Djokovic was still able to accumulate a record of 41-7, and win his 21st Slam at Wimbledon.  He is now 17-1 at indoor ATP events this fall, and will end the year as the World No.5  With a win on Sunday, he would tie Roger Federer for most all-time ATP Finals titles.

2022 has been a groundbreaking year in the career of Casper Ruud.  He had already established himself as a top 10 player, but prior to this season, was predominantly thought of as a clay court specialist, with five of his six ATP titles coming on that surface.  Yet that all changed this season, starting in Miami when he reached his first Masters 1000 finals.  Casper would go on to also reach his first two Major finals, in Paris in New York.  He is now 51-21, and into his fourth big final of the year.

Sunday’s action in Turin starts at 4:00pm local time with the doubles championship match, featuring Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic (4) vs. Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury (2).  Both teams are an undefeated 4-0 this past week.  This is Ram and Salisbury’s second consecutive year in the final, having lost a year ago to Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut.  Mektic won this title two years ago alongside Wesley Koolhof, while this is Pavic’s first appearance in the final of this event.  These teams have not met since the semifinals of this tournament last year, when Ram and Salisbury prevailed.

Casper Ruud (3) Novak Djokovic (7) – Not Before 7:00pm

Ruud is 3-1 this past week, with his only loss coming in a dead rubber against Rafael Nadal.  Prior to his three top 10 victories across the last seven days, Casper only had two all season (Zverev, Auger-Aliassime).  And he is yet to win a title above 250-level in his career, with the aforementioned three losses this year in big finals.  Ruud was a semifinalist here a year ago in his ATP Finals debut.

Djokovic is an undefeated 4-0 this week, which includes an arduous effort to defeat Daniil Medvedev on Friday in a dead rubber.  Novak is now 10-3 against top 10 opposition in 2022, having taken nine of his last 10 against the top 10.  He is 4-2 in finals this year, though he lost his most recent one, two weeks in Bercy, to Holger Rune.  Djokovic is an eight-time finalist here, though he hasn’t won this title since 2015.

Djokovic has played a lot more tennis across the last two days than Ruud.  On Friday, Novak spent over three hours on court, while Ruud had the day off.  But Djokovic still looked plenty fresh for his semifinal on Saturday against Taylor Fritz, and was able to prevent the American from extending that tight contest to a third set.  Novak is 3-0 against Casper, which includes a straight-set victory at this same event a year ago.  And considering Ruud’s poor record in significant finals, Djokovic is a considerable favorite to win his sixth title at the ATP Finals on Sunday.

Sunday’s full Order of Play is here.

Continue Reading