Dominic Thiem’s comeback from a long injury layoff suffered another setback as he lost to French qualifier Quentin Halys in the first round of the Estoril Open on Tuesday.
The Austrian world number four, who had not played since March due to a foot problem, was beaten 6-4 6-7 (3-7) 6-3 by the 190th-ranked Halys in two hours and 18 minutes.
Thiem, who had received a bye in the opening round, looked rusty and struggled to find his rhythm against the aggressive Halys, who hit 10 aces and 36 winners.
The 28-year-old Thiem had won his first match back from injury last week in Madrid, where he reached the semi-finals, but he could not replicate that form in Portugal.
He dropped his serve twice in the first set and failed to convert any of his six break points. He fought back to take the second set in a tie-break, but Halys broke him again in the sixth game of the decider and held on to seal a stunning upset.
It was Halys’ first win over a top-10 player and his first ATP quarter-final appearance. He will face either American Marcos Giron or Spaniard Albert Ramos-Vinolas for a place in the last four.
Thiem, meanwhile, will have to regroup and hope for a better performance at the French Open, where he is a two-time runner-up and one of the main challengers to Rafael Nadal’s dominance on clay.
Final Thoughts: Thiem’s Comeback Hindered by Halys Upset in Estoril
Dominic Thiem’s comeback from injury suffered another setback with a surprising loss to qualifier Quentin Halys in the first round of the Estoril Open.
Thiem, who had not played since March due to a foot injury, looked rusty and struggled to find his rhythm against the aggressive Halys, who hit 10 aces and 36 winners. Despite winning his first match back from injury last week in Madrid and reaching the semi-finals, Thiem failed to replicate that form in Portugal.
The loss to Halys was a significant upset, as the Frenchman was ranked 190th in the world and had never before beaten a top-10 player. Halys showed great composure and held his nerve to break Thiem in the sixth game of the deciding set and hold on for a stunning victory.
The win marked Halys’ first ATP quarter-final appearance and was a significant milestone in his career.
Thiem’s defeat is a significant blow to his preparations for the upcoming French Open, where he has been a two-time runner-up and one of the main challengers to Rafael Nadal’s dominance on clay. Thiem will need to regroup and find his form quickly if he hopes to mount a serious challenge at Roland Garros.
Overall, the loss to Halys highlights the unpredictability of tennis and the importance of being mentally and physically prepared for every match. Thiem’s setback serves as a reminder that injuries can disrupt even the most accomplished players’ careers and that the road to recovery is never straightforward.
Nonetheless, Thiem remains a formidable opponent on clay and will be looking to bounce back quickly in the coming weeks.