SPO Dominic Thiem-1716391633192
Dominic Thiem of Austria against Felipe Meligeni Rodriguez of Brazil during Mutua Madrid Open at La Caja Magica in Madrid on April 22. Image Credit: Reuters

Paris: Two-time finalist Dominic Thiem said a sad farewell to Roland Garros after the soon-to-retire Austrian was knocked out in the second round of qualifying on Wednesday.

Thiem, the 2018 and 2019 finalist, went down 6-2, 7-5 to Finland’s Otto Virtanen and was then presented with a commemorative trophy by tournament director Amelie Mauresmo.

Thiem was visibly moved as he spoke fondly of his connection with the French clay.

“Thank you for this marvellous goodbye,” the Austrian said as he received his trophy.

“I have had so many good results, good memories and good moments on these courts, I’ll never forget it,” he said.

Thiem has failed to go past the first round of the main draw in Paris since his 2019 run to the final and has dropped from World No 3 to 131 in the rankings.

His career has been blighted by a niggling wrist injury and since his crowning moment in 2020 when he beat Alexander Zverev in the Covid-affected US Open final his career has nosedived.

The 30-year-old has already announced plans to retire from tennis at the end of the 2024 season.

The first round of the French Open proper begins on Sunday.