Former world No. 3 Dominic Thiem admitted he was frustrated after his latest defeat as he remains without a win since returning from a wrist injury.
On Monday, Thiem exited Rome as he was handed a defeat by home favorite Fabio Fognini.
Fognini, an experienced clay specialist, beat Thiem 6-4 7-6 (5) to progress into the Rome second round.
Thiem missed out on two consecutive break points early on in the first set, before he got broken in the ninth game of the opener.
In the 10th game of the second set, Thiem saved a match point on Fognini’s serve in the 10th game and managed to force a tie-break, but fell short in his bid to send the match into a decider.
Thiem is 0-5 since returning from a wrist injury in late March.
Thiem: I have improved but I have to do better
“I’m really frustrated right now, obviously. Things have improved again since Madrid. That’s good. I looked at the stats after the first set on the big screen. Actually, they are getting better and better. The first-serve percentage, first-serve wins, second-serve wins actually had better stats in the first set. Just zero out of three break points. I have to play better those close points,” Thiem said after the loss.
“That’s what I did at 4-5 in the second when I came back. Then at 6-5 he played a great game with four first serves. I was hoping to break him there and get things going even better for me. The tie-break was not good for me. Obviously in the tie-break you get a little bit tighter. That’s where the forehand is still not there when things are getting tighter. That’s the way it is now.”
Thiem will now return to the practice court and hope to clinch his first win in Geneva next week.