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Thiem announces return, joins Wawrinka on the comeback trail at next week’s Marbella Challenger

Dominic Thiem of Austria is ready to launch his comeback. EPA-EFE/CHEMA MOYA

By Ricky Dimon

The clay-court swing will begin with a bang, and not at a place anyone would expect.

Both Dominic Thiem and Stan Wawrinka will make long-awaited returns at none other than the Andalucia Open–a Challenger event in Marbella, Spain that begins next Monday.

Thiem has been sidelined since sustaining a wrist injury on the grass courts of Mallorca last June. That was preceded by opening clay-court losses in Lyon and at Roland Garros, meaning the 28-year-old Austrian has not won a match since the Rome Masters in mid-May of 2021.

“Hi everyone,” Thiem wrote via social media on Thursday, “I wanted to let you know that I will be playing this upcoming week (at) a tournament in Marbella, Spain. I want to start getting contact with the competition after all these months and I believe this is the right way to start.

“It’s been a very, very tough period for me and to go back to competition is what I need. To step on a tennis court and compete is what I have been waiting for so long and as you know I had a lot of [setbacks]. I know this will be a slow process of getting back to the top level, but I am ready to work hard and start humble.”

Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland will return from foot surgery. EPA-EFE/MICHAEL DODGE
At 36 years old, Wawrinka probably doesn’t have any designs of getting back to the top. But the former world No. 3 will just be happy to play again for the first time in more than a year. Wawrinka has been out with a foot injury since the Qatar ExxonMobil Open in Doha last March.

Holger Rune, Fernando Verdasco, Lucas Pouille, and Dubai runner-up Jiri Vesely are also on the Marbella entry list.

Ricky contributes to10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.