Wimbledon 2019: Thiem suffers first round shock against Querrey

Dominic Thiem was coming off a runner-up finish at the French Open to Rafael Nadal and had not played a match between then and the Wimbledon – a scenario identical to 2018.

Dominic Thiem was the French Open runner-up to Rafael Nadal.   -  REUTERS

Dominic Thiem exited Wimbledon at the opening stage for the second straight year, losing to Sam Querrey 7-6 (4), 6-7 (1), 3-6, 0-6 on Court 2 on Tuesday.

The Austrian fifth seed was coming off a runner-up finish at the French Open to Rafael Nadal and had not played a match between then and now – a scenario identical to 2018.

An aggressive baseliner, Thiem has a powerful forehand and a booming single-handed backhand. But his heavy backlift, deep construction of points and placement visibly behind the baseline mean he is vulnerable to the speed of play on grass.

The hard-hitting Querrey, a semifinalist at SW19 two years ago, went toe-to-toe with Thiem in the first two sets, just inched ahead in the third before zooming through the fourth.

Thiem is the latest big name to drop out in the first round at Wimbledon this year. Monday was a bloodbath for tennis’s Next-Gen as world No. 2 Naomi Osaka, 21, lost in straight sets, followed soon after by Alexander Zverev, 22, and Stefanos Tsitsipas, 20.

Osaka, the reigning US Open and Australian Open champion, lost in straight sets to Yulia Putintseva, an unseeded Russian who had beaten her just 10 days ago at the Birmingham Classic.

Meanwhile, sixth seed Zverev’s Grand Slam lows plugged new depths as the 22-year-old lost in the first round for the first time in five appearances at Wimbledon.

Zverev, the world No. 5, won the first set against Jiri Vesely, but then lost the next three to mark his worst performance at a Grand Slam since the 2016 Australian Open.

Seventh seed Tsitsipas, who reached the fourth round at SW19 last year, struggled through five sets as he lost to Thomas Fabbiano.