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As many of you may know, Dominic Thiem has been absent from the ATP Tour for an awfully long time. He has had a serious wrist injury for about a year now. But now that we enter the Belgrade 250 event, his name is back in the draw! I for one have certainly missed seeing Dominic Thiem playing at the highest level. He is one of the most talented and hard-working guys on tour, and I am pleased to see that he is making his return.
But what can we really expect from Dominic Thiem in the 2022 Belgrade tournament? After all, he has been absent from top-level tennis for so long. And even if clay does seem to be a surface that he performs well on, returning to competitive tennis after such an injury is going to be tough. However, I have a few ideas on what we can expect from Dominic Thiem for this particular event.
Thiem in Belgrade – Realistic Expectations
The last time that Dominic Thiem played an ATP match at the 250 level was in June 2021. This is obviously quite a long time ago, and during that match, he was forced to retire due to his wrist. Recently, he competed in a challenger event, losing to a player ranked 174 in the world at the time. This was almost a month ago, and of course, he will have been training more since then.
But what can we really expect from him here? Let’s find out.
R16 or QF Possible
At the time of writing, the Belgrade 250 draw has been published and the first few games are underway. Thiem has been drawn against John Millman in the opening round, and actually, I feel he could beat Millman. Sure, Millman is a steady player, but I don’t think he can hurt Thiem too much on the clay. And he hasn’t been in the best form over the last few months. But if he does squeeze past Millman, he would then face Kecmanovic – a guy in great form!
But beyond him, if he was to wriggle through another round, he would likely play Novak Djokovic in the quarter-finals. I can’t see him getting beyond Djokovic given that he is still in the early stages of his return.
Heavy-Hitting and Fierce Competitiveness
Besides his realistic tournament chances, we can also look at what to expect from Thiem on the court. Thiem is well known for hitting huge groundstrokes, and on the clay, he hits with enormous spin. Now, if his wrist is indeed well enough to rip through the ball, I expect to see enormous groundstrokes once again from him. This is what Thiem’s game is based on, and it has brought him plenty of success over the years.
And in addition to the way he will hit the ball, his competitive nature goes without saying. So even if he won’t be in his best form, he will certainly compete for every single point out there. Of course, exactly how he competes and hits the ball will be a nice insight as to what could be possible at the 2022 French Open for him too!