It’s finally done: Dominic Thiem has beaten Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga for the first time. Thiem was on fire from the first point, heavily pushed on by the sold-out crowd in the Wiener Stadthalle, winning 6-4, 7-6(2). He will face Spaniard Fernando Verdasco in the second round, who beat Nikoloz Basilashvili from Georgia.
Thiem got the only break of the match in the seventh game of the first set when Tsonga was already up 40-0, but Thiem first leveled the game and then pounced to make it 4-3. After that he easily served out. In the second set Thiem again had a chance to break at 4-4 but Tsonga saved the break-point and eventually forced a tie-break, where the Austrian kept the upper hand.
Strong serve crucial
The key to success certainly was Thiem’s serve as he said after the match: “I gave him not a single break point and served well. I had a high percentage and it was important to always get the first point. I think it was 0-15 only once. It’s easier if you’re not under pressure all the time.”
Early exit from Raonic
On the second day of the Erste Bank Open main draw there already was the first big surprise, as Milos Raonic (CAN/32) lost to Hyeon Chung from South Korea, who has fallen in the rankings to no. 139 after a long injury pause. Chung won 6-4, 7-5.
Another, smaller surprise: qualifier Aljaz Bedene ousted the higher ranked Guido Pella 6-4, 6-4. In a pure veteran duel Gilles Simon (FRA) beat Feliciano Lopez (ESP) 6-4, 6-3.
In the final match of the day Italy’s super talent Jannik Sinner beat German veteran Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-3, 6-4.