VIENNA (Reuters) – Top seed and home favourite Dominic Thiem began his bid to win the Vienna Open with a straight sets win over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on Tuesday.
The Austrian, beaten finalist in this year’s French Open, got the only break of serve in the match in the seventh game to take the first set 6-4 before clinching his first win in three meetings against the Frenchman by winning a tiebreak 7-2 in the second set.
“I gave him not a single break point and served well,” he said. “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.”
Thiem will face Fernando Verdasco in the second round after the Spaniard beat Nikoloz Basilashvili 4-6 6-2 6-1.
Canada’s Milos Raonic, playing his first tour match since recovering from a back injury he sustained two months ago, was beaten 6-4 7-5 by South Korean Hyeon Chung while qualifier Aljaz Bedene ousted the higher-ranked Guido Pella 6-4 6-4.
(Writing by Brian Homewood; editing by Clare Lovell)