Thiem’s French Open dreams end in qualifying second round

Paris, May 23 (UNI) Dominic Thiem’s bid to enter the main draw of Roland-Garros came to an end on Wednesday as he was defeated by Finland’s Otto Virtanen, 6-2, 7-5, in the second round of qualifying on Court Suzanne-Lenglen.

The former world No.3 received a warm welcome from an enthusiastic spectators, who chanted “Domi! Domi!”

But Thiem couldn’t convert the support into victory. Virtanen maintained control throughout the match, even braving a late rain delay and roof closure to secure the win.

As Thiem left the court, the spectators serenaded him fervently, marking an emotional farewell. “It was really, really nice,” Thiem reflected post-match. “The atmosphere was amazing, and the fans made it a very nice farewell.”

Thiem’s journey on the Parisian clay, which began in 2014, has been memorable. He reached back-to-back finals in 2018 and 2019, following semifinal appearances in 2016 and 2017, and a quarterinal in 2020. His 26-5 record from 2016 to 2020 highlights his prowess.

However, a wrist injury in 2021 hampered his progress, leading to his decision to end his career later this year. Despite not reaching his former heights, Thiem sought to enjoy his final year. “Since I announced it’s my last year, I have been able to enjoy it more,” he said after his round one win over Franco Agamenone.

Thiem’s powerful groundstrokes and dynamic play made him a favorite among Roland-Garros fans, who turned out in droves to support him this week. “I feel a big relief and can enjoy it more,” he said, acknowledging the passion that drives athletes.

Though Thiem finished behind on the scoreboard, the specttors’ roar as he left Court Suzanne-Lenglen cemented his status as a beloved figure in Paris.

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