"I'm happy with how I was fighting" - Thiem remains positive despite early-round loss in Belgrade

After taking an extended time off due to injury, Dominic Thiem returned to the ATP Tour at the Serbia Open but lost to Australian John Millman in his opening round match.

Thiem produced a spirited display to be proud of in a 3-6, 6-3, 4-6 defeat against the Aussie on Center court, and seemed to be in good spirits after the match.

"It felt good," the former World No. 3 said after his first tour-level match since tearing his right wrist last June. "Actually, I'm really happy because it was a match; it was a fight.

"I'm happy with how I was fighting, how I was defending, how I was moving. The backhand was pretty good. The forehand is not there yet, but I know this and I'm practicing so that it's getting better."

Nonetheless, the 2020 US Open champion would like to keep his expectations in check, knowing that there is still much work to be done before the French Open.

"There's not too much to expect here and neither in the next three weeks," he explained. "My goal is to be in good shape in Roland Garros and today doesn't change [that]. Obviously I'm disappointed; I wanted to win. But still, the match itself, how long it was and the intensity, I'm pretty happy about it.

"Of course there are things missing, things that are not that great in my game. But that was completely clear also before this match."

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