|date: May 22 – June 5 Place: Roland Garros, Paris|
|applied area: BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extras, live text and radio commentary of selected matches on the BBC Sports website and app|
Former French Open runner-up Dominic Thiem called the forehand “nervous” after losing back to back in the first round of Roland Garros.
Thiem has lost their last seven games after missing nine months with a wrist injury.
The 28-year-old Austrian lost 6-3 6-2 6-4 to Bolivia’s Hugo Dellien in Paris on Sunday.
“There are painful defeats every week and it’s not unexpected, but very disappointing,” Thiem said.
He won his first major at the 2020 US Open after losing to Rafael Nadal in the finals at Roland Garros in 2018 and 2019.
In the wake of that victory, Thiem has decided to take a two-month tour break for a “small reset” due to the physical and emotional impact.
However, the third-best player in the world has never recovered that level and has lost in the last four games of the 2021 season, which was shortened by a wrist injury.
Against Dellien, Thiem looked like the shadow of a player considered to be an almost certain future Roland Garros champion.
Executing his forehand was a special struggle. Official match statistics show that 26 of his 38 unforced errors were off that wing.
Thiem, currently 194th, said, “I have no physical problems at all. I have no mental problems with my forehand, I have no fear, I have nothing.”
“The problem is that the forehand was actually really good, but the situation is something different, especially in the Grand Slam.
“I still have poison in my forehand as my whole body gets stiffer and tense. I still miss the good feeling there.
“Then a lot of mistakes are happening.”
Thiem said taking part in the ATP Challenger Tour, a tournament class below the main tour, could be an option to regain confidence.