VIENNA, October 22,2019
Dominic Thiem opened his title bid at the Erste Bank Open with a first-round win over Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. The top seed of the ATP 500 event in Vienna won 6-4, 7-6(2) on Tuesday evening.
Thiem didn’t face a break point and converted one of his own six chances to secure victory in one hour and 58 minutes. “I am full of confidence right now,” said Thiem, as quoted by Austrian journalist Lukas Zahrer, after his first win over Tsonga in the pair’s third tour meeting.
The World No. 5, who is seeking his first title in Vienna, will next take on Spanish veteran Fernando Verdasco, who rallied past Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia 4-6, 6-2, 6-1 in one hour and 38 minutes.
“Verdasco is definitely not my favorite opponent. He’s a lefty who grinds out a lot of points from the baseline, but he’s not the best mover. I need to exploit that,” Thiem commented on his upcoming opponent, who leads the head-to-head series with the Austrian 4-0.
Dominic #Thiem after his win over Tsonga: “I am full of confidence right now. Verdasco is definitely not my favorite opponent. He’s a lefty who grinds out a lot of points from the baseline, but he’s not the best mover. I need to exploit that.” #ErsteBankOpen pic.twitter.com/f05rRO2GcN
— Lukas Zahrer (@ZahrerLukas) October 22, 2019
Later in the day, Jannik Sinner emerged victorious from the battle of the generations with Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber, winning 6-3, 6-4. The 18-year-old Italian broke his opponent’s serve, who his twice his age, three times to prevail after one hour and 30 minutes.
#NextGenATP player Sinner is a wild card for the second straight week. Last week at the European Open in Antwerp, the teenager became the youngest semi-finalist on the ATP Tour since 17-year-old Borna Coric at 2014 Basel. He will next play either Austrian Dennis Novak or Frenchman Gael Monfils.
Scintillating Sinner 🤩
The 18-year-old @nextgenfinals contender defeats Kohlschreiber in straight sets 👏
— ATP Tour (@atptour) October 22, 2019