Former world number three Dominic Thiem advances into the second round at the Moselle Open by beating Frenchman Richard Gasquet in straight sets. Reigning champion Hubert Hurkacz awaits to play the Austrian on Thursday in Metz.
In his on-court interview, Thiem stressed: “It was a very difficult challenge as always when you play against Richard. Also, lately [he’s] played well. He came here in good shape, so it’s a very good sign for me. I’m very happy about it.”
The 2020 U.S. Open champion arrived in the ‘Green City’ after competing at the ATP Tour Challenger, Open Blot Rennes last week - lost to Ugo Humbert in the final, Sunday.
“After five tough matches in Rennes, to pick it up here with slightly different conditions [has been good], so I’m very happy with my first match back here,” he outlined.
Following his first-round triumph, the 29-year-old will face Pole Hubert Hurkacz, who will set off his title defense at the Moselle Open against the Austrian player.
The Top 10 player in the world leads their series 2-0, having faced the 17-time ATP titlist for the last time in 2020 at the ATP Cup, held in Australia, edging his adversary in three sets.
Thiem delivered a good performance on Wednesday against the Frenchman, winning 59 percent of his first-serve points and 74 with his second compared to Gasquet’s 70 and 42 percent, respectively.
In addition, Nicolas Massu’s pupil converted four of eight breakpoint opportunities, toppling the 36-year-old in the second set tiebreak 7-3.
On Thursday, the second seed, Hurkacz, will start his journey in Metz, aiming to earn a second consecutive singles crown.
Last season, Poland’s number one racquet sealed an outstanding campaign by claiming the singles and doubles title without dropping a set.
This year, his best result in singles came in Halle, Germany, where he captured the ATP 500 title at the Terra Wortmann Open, overpowering former World No. 1 Daniil Medvedev.
Recently, the 25-year-old from Wroclaw reached the final at the ATP Masters 1000 Montreal, falling to Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta in Canada.
Moreover, he has added two doubles titles to his name, emerging victorious at the Miami Open with American John Isner as at the Boss Open in Stuttgart - a grass court event, partnering Croat Mate Pavic.
The Moselle Open is Hurkacz’s first appearance at tour level after his second-round exit at the U.S. Open early in September.