HAMBURG, July 23, 2019
Top seed Dominic Thiem kicked off his Hamburg European Open title bid with a 6-3, 7-6(3) win over Pablo Cuevas from Uruguay on a sunny Tuesday afternoon. The World No. 4 broke his opponent’s serve two times to prevail after one hour and 40 minutes.
250 tour wins for @ThiemDomi 💥
Bringing up match point in trademark fashion 😉
— ATP Tour (@ATP_Tour) July 23, 2019
“I expected a tough one today, as all of our previous matches were tough as well. I am happy to be through in two sets,” Thiem said. “The best point of the match was probably at 5-3 in the tie-break when I hit a backhand down the line. That was also an important winner.”
Thiem has returned to the clay courts after playing only one match on grass this season when he fell to US-American Sam Querrey in the opening round at Wimbledon. The 25-year-old Austrian continues to be an impressive force on the red dirt this season. Thiem beat Rafael Nadal on the surface for the fourth straight season, claiming a win over the “King of clay” en route to the title at the Barcelona Open. He also reached the final at Roland Garros for the second straight year, before losing to Nadal. Nine of Thiem’s 13 titles on the ATP Tour came on clay.
However, there is still a Hamburg trophy missing in his collection. Before today’s match, Thiem was only 4-2 in his two showings at the Rothenbaum tournament. He lost to Nicolas Jarry in the quarterfinals last year but will try to improve his performance in his next match against Marton Fucsovics of Hungary.
Struff, Basilashvili advance
Earlier on Centre Court, No. 7 seed Jan-Lennard Struff of Germany showed a quality performance, winning 83 per cent of his first-service points to seal a 6-1, 6-3 victory over Thiago Monteiro of Brazil, who lifted the trophy at the Sparkassen Open in Braunschweig two weeks ago.
“I am very pleased with my performance today,” Struff said during his post-match on-court interview. “He beat me in straight sets in Munich, but I served well. That was key today, as I knew that I needed to keep the rallies short. I made a good job and I am very happy with the win.”
On Court M1, defending champion Nikoloz Basilashvili is off to a perfect start in Hamburg. The No. 4 seed from Georgia eased past Bolivian qualifier Hugo Dellien 6-4, 6-3 in 67 minutes. Up next for Basilashvili will be Juan Ignacio Londero of Argentina, who eased past Spanish lucky loser Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 6-3, 6-2 in 65 minutes.