By Bill Scott

The nightmare injury return to tennis for Dominic Thiem sunk into the abyss on Sunday as the two-time Roland Garros finalist made a swift first-round exit.

The Austrian who won the US Open in 2020 and challenged Rafael Nadal in 2018-2019 finals here went down 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 to Bolivian Hugo Dellien, who had his family and South American friends in the stands.

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The No. 87 called his win in two hours over the one-time ATP No. 3 “the best of my career.”

“Dominic is such a good player, he will come back for sure to a  high level and contend (again) for the biggest titles.”

Thiem, who suffered a wrist injury on British grass 11 months ago and then was hit by a 2022 case of COVID, has now lost all six matches played since he returned to the Tour in Belgrade six weeks ago.

The Austrian produced four double-faults and dropped his serve four times.