Thiem makes strong start
Originally published on 28/05/17 00:00
The Austrian continues to prosper on the red dirt and he delivered another devastating display of power-tennis to defeat his desultory opponent.
“It was a tricky first round,” said Thiem. "It was pretty close in the beginning, and pretty hot today too, so I’m happy that I’m through in three sets. The confidence is there, I played a very good clay-court season but this tournament is a big highlight and everybody starts from zero basically – so I’m happy that I had a good start.”
Grigor Dimitrov was able to record his first win at Roland Garros in four years as he produced a polished perfromance to defeat Stephane Robert 6-2 6-3 6-4. The key components of the Bulgarian’s game – his serve and forehand – worked in harmony and he was rarely troubled by his quirky French opponent.
“The last time I won a match here was a couple of years ago so I’m just pretty pleased to start with a strong win,” remarked the No.11 seed. “I know what it is like to play at home and be the home-crowd favourite so it was a good test. I knew what to expect and I just had to fight. I just wanted to win the match and that was my ultimate goal.”
Lucas Pouille recovered from a precarious position to edge a titanic tussle with fellow Frenchman Julien Benneteau 7-6(6) 3-6 4-6 6-3 6-4 and maintain his interest in the competition.
It was far from a vintage display from Pouille – who made an eye-watering 53 unforced errors – but his grit and determination helped him stumble across the winning line.
Elsewhere on the grounds, Guillermo Garcia-Lopez overcame an injury scare to defeat Gilles Muller 7-6(4) 6-7(2) 6-2 6-2 while Albert Ramos-Vinolas, who reached the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters final in April, battled back to beat Romanian Marius Copil 6-7(9) 6-1 6-4 6-2.
There were also wins for Ivo Karlovic, Pablo Carreño Busta, Horacio Zeballos and Taro Daniel on a hot afternoon in Paris.