Kitzbuhel | Thiem takes another step up

Dominic Thiem’s return to the top of the game following his wrist injury after he won the US Open in 2020, took another step forward as he progressed into the second round of the Generli Open being played in Kitzbuhel.

It was not easy with the rain delay, but it was an amazing atmosphere with everyone staying. I’m so happy I am through to the second round. Dominic Thiem

The Austrian, with strong support from his home crowd, came through a tough first round encounter with Facundo Banis of Argentina, 7-6(3) 7-6(6), which he secured after two-hours and 22-minutes for his 10th win of the year having lost nine matches in his first 10 of the season.

The 2019 Kitzbuehel champion and 2014 finalist staved off five set points on serve in the 10th game of the opening set and another two set points in the second-set tie-break.

Thiem, who served 10 aces, trailed 2-4 before a lengthy rain delay interrupted the match but immediately broke back when the match resumed and, playing an aggressive game, pushed on to seal the victory.

“It was another great, great night here in Kitzbuehel,” Thiem said on court after the match. “It’s the third time I kicked off the tournament with a night session and all three of them have been legendary. It was not easy with the rain delay, but it was an amazing atmosphere with everyone staying. I’m so happy I am through to the second round.

“In the first set when we came back from the rain delay, I played a very good level and he kept it up, so it was an even match. I played offensively and finished many points at the net.”

Thiem, holder of 17 titles, is chasing his first since claiming his lone major in New York in September 2020.

In other action, eighth-seeded German Daniel Altmaier, a semi-finalist in KItzbuhel two years ago, defeated defeat Swiss Marc-Andrea Huesler 6-7(2) 6-2 6-4 to reach the second round, saving three of the four break points he faced and converted all four break chances he created on his opponent’s serve to claim his 11th match win of the year.

Altmaier now faces Colombian world No.76 Daniel Flahi Galan in what will be their first meeting.

Brazilian Thiago Seyboth Wild, ranked 117, defeated Austrian Denis Novak 6-3, 6-4 and will take on Serbian Laslo Djere of Serbia who reached the final of Hamburg last week.

Alex De Minaur won his 180th match at tour level

. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Meanwhile in Los Cabos, Mexico, fifth seed Alex de Minaur passed a stern test Tuesday to begin his title quest at the Mifel Tennis Open, an ATP 250-level event.

The 24-year-old Aussie defeated Tunisian qualifier Skander Manouri 6-4 6-4 after recovering from a break down twice in the second set.

The world No.19 broke Mansouri’s serve at 5-4 in both sets and sealed the match after one hour, 45 minutes.

A seven-time tour-level titlist, De Minaur’s opening-round victory in Los Cabos marks his 180th tour-level match win.



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