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Thiem loses in Rio, hopes to turn his season around in Indian Wells

Dominic Thiem hopes to get his comeback on track at the scene of his second-biggest triumph.

Thiem, who missed almost a year from the summer of 2021 to the spring of 2022 because of a wrist injury, received a wild card for the main draw of the upcoming BNP Paribas Open last week. The 29-year-old Austrian won the Indian Wells Masters in 2019 and has not been back since. It was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 and Thiem was injured when it was held twice in the span of six month the next two seasons.

He posted on social media following the wild-card announcement: “Hello Indian Wells! Today I received the great message that I will get a wild card for the 2023 BNP Paribas Open. It’s unbelievable news for me as it’s a tournament I love and it’s going to be the first time I played there since I won the tournament in 2019. So looking forward to seeing you all there. Thank you!”

Thiem won 18 tour-level matches and reached a Challenger final last year upon his return, but any momentum he had built up has gone out the window. The 2020 U.S. Open champion is 1-6 in 2023 with five losses in straight sets. He was competitive in the Rio de Janeiro first round on Monday night but fell to Thiago Monteiro 6-1, 3-6, 7-6(2) after two hours and 44 minutes.

At the 2019 Indian Wells event, Thiem beat Roger Federer 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 in the final. He also reached the quarters in 2017 before losing to Stan Wawrinka in a third-set tiebreaker.

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