Viktor Troicki is back playing pro tennis for the first time in 12 months. Troicki, who was suspended a year ago for a doping violation – he infamously refused to give a blood sample – served out his suspension and yesterday, he returned to beat rising star Dominic Thiem 76, 64.
“Today was a bit tough to play because I was kind of nervous and I didn’t play my best game,” said Troicki. “I didn’t serve well, but I think I’m playing good and in the second round I think I can play even better and be more relaxed.”
Once ranked as high as No. 12, Troicki is currently No. 847 and only got a spot in the Gstaad main draw via a wildcard. And he’ll need more wildcards to play in future events unless he gets his ranking back into the Top 100 soon.
“Honestly, it’s been a tough year,” Troicki recently told CNN. “Mentally it was tough to handle everything but as time went on, I started preparing and practicing, and I was focused on my comeback and new start — and looking forward to it.”
When asked if he would submit to a blood test, Troicki, who maintains his innocence in the matter, said he would.
“Well, I would definitely do it,” he said to CNN. “If I was told I must definitely do it or else I’d get a ban, I would have done it back then.
“For sure I learned a huge lesson. I will definitely pay more attention to this and try for it not to happen again.”
The 28-year-old Serb will now face Andrey Golubev in the second round tomorrow.
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