ATP MEN’S TENNIS / THIEM SURVIVES EMOTIONAL ROLLER-COASTER IN ROTTERDAM AGAINST ZVEREV

Written by: on 15th February 2017
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Tennis Australian Open 2017
ATP MEN'S TENNIS / THIEM SURVIVES EMOTIONAL ROLLER-COASTER IN ROTTERDAM AGAINST ZVEREV

epa05737084 Dominic Thiem of Austria reacts against Benoit Paire of France during round three of the Men's Singles at the Australian Open Grand Slam tennis tournament in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 21 January 2017. EPA/LUKAS COCH AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND OUT  |

Friendly fire: Thiem survives emotional roller-coaster in Rotterdam against Zverev

 

By Ricky Dimon

 

Dominic Thiem picked up a much-needed win at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament when he overcame Alexander Zverev 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 during first-round action on Wednesday night. Thiem, who is still just 6-4 this season, took down the recent Montpellier champion after one hour and 44 minutes.

 

“He’s one of the best players in the world right now,” the 23-year-old Austrian said of his good friend Zverev. “He played an amazing match at the Australian Open against [Rafael Nadal] (and) just won his second title in Montpellier, so it was a horrible draw for me.”

 

It certainly looked that way in the early stages. Thiem lost the first four games of the match before sinking his teeth into late in the opening set. Although the No. 2 seed dropped the opener, a few victorious games under his belt set the stage for a comeback over the final two sets.

 

“Even though I was 0-4 down, I felt pretty good from the start of the match,” Thiem reflected. “I was hitting my returns well; used my slice smartly. Overall it was my best performance in a long time. For my confidence this is exactly what I needed–a very good match against a really, really good player.”

 

Speaking of really good, Grigor Dimitrov improved to 15-1 on the season by scraping past Mischa Zverev 6-7(4), 6-2, 6-4 on Thursday afternoon. Coming off his second title of 2017 in Sofia, Dimitrov advanced after one hour and 54 minutes.

 

“I think it’s always difficult when you change your whole atmosphere, with a different court, different balls, which didn’t make it any easier today,” the 12th-ranked Bulgarian explained. “I just had to keep on playing and fighting at the level I thought I could do. I’m very pleased to get another win. There were a lot of obstacles out there and I think I handled it pretty well.

 

“It’s another week now; another challenge and another opportunity to win. All eyes on that and focusing ahead.”

 

Immediately ahead for Dimitrov is a Thursday date with Denis Istomin, now famous for upsetting Novak Djokovic at the Australian Open. Thiem, meanwhile, will continue his Rotterdam campaign against Gilles Simon.

 

Editor’s Note: The battle within the battle that was Thiem vs. Zverev involved the destruction of tennis rackets. Thiem annihilated one of his sticks while things were going poorly for him earlier in the match. Not to be outdone by his good friend and never one to shy away from showing range, Zverev unleashed fury on his racket four times after dropping serve in the third set. Watch it all at The Grandstand.

 

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand.

 

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