Dominic Thiem started with a 7:5, 7:6(5) win over Belgian qualifier Ruben Bemelmans into the Erste Bank Open 500, his home tournament.
After a rocky start Thiem found his groove but still had to save three break points. Thiem, on the other hand, struck in the perfect moment: leading 6-5 he managed to convert his fifth break point to close the set 7-5.
In the second set both players showed no weaknesses on serve, neither yielding a single break point. Naturally, the set had to be decided in the tie-break. Bemelmans started with a mini-break, but Thiem was able to claw his way back into the tie-break. In the end, Thiem took the set and the match with his first match-point 7-5 in the tie-break.
Thiem wasn’t all too happy with his match as he explained during the following press conference: “Yes, I got some rhythm, but my return was really bad.” There weren’t really a lot of chances for the return players – with one exception: “That was the one game which he served me on a platter a bit.”
The tie-break in the second set was “a close shave” and Thiem was glad that he didn’t have to go through a third set. The win was a “big relief”. And what’s the plan for the next days? “I will go and practice with a player who has a good serve to improve my return.”
Next opponent Querrey
Thiem will have to get through Sam Querrey in the second round on Thursday. The American beat Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, thus preventing a re-match between Thiem and Tsonga who had a legendary battle in Vienna quarterfinals in 2013.