Doha | Thiem scores first win
At the Qatar Open, Dominic Thiem, the world No.5 and top seed, got his season off to a good start with a fighting performance to oust Russia’s Evgeny Donskoy 7-6(3) 6-3.
“It was a good victory because (of a) tough opponent after a pretty long period without any matches,” Thiem said. “After a good start, it got pretty close in the first set and at the end I’m satisfied with most parts of my game.”
Thiem will play either Slovenia’s Aljaz Bedene or Tunisian wildcard Malek Jaziri in the second round.
Spaniard Fernando Verdasco also had to fight for victory after losing the first set against Israel’s Dudi Sela but the seventh-seed staged a comeback to win the final 10 games of the match and record a 4-6 6-4 6-0 win.
Verdasco will face Andrey Rublev in the second round after the Russian was handed a win as German Cedrik-Marcel Stebe retired with the score at 6-1 in the 20-year-old’s favour.
Georgia’s Nikoloz Basilashvili, who beat Italy’s Thomas Fabbiano 6-4 6-3 on Monday, will play the winner of the match between second seed Pablo Carreno Busta and Borna Coric.