Djokovic, Thiem Begin Title Bid In Vienna

STARNBERG/VIENNA, October 27, 2020

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic and defending champion Dominic Thiem began their title bid at the Erste Bank Open in Vienna on Tuesday with straight-set victories.

In his first match at the Stadthalle since defeating Stan Wawrinka for the 2007 title, Djokovic emerged victorious from the all-Serbian affair with Filip Krajinovic, winning 7-6(6), 6-3. The top seed, who entered the main draw of the ATP 500 event by a wild card, won 54 per cent of the total points played to prevail after one hour and 58 minutes.

“I was lucky in the first set… We are good friends, we train a lot [together] and it is never easy to play someone that you are very close to,” said Djokovic in an on-court interview. “He is a very nice guy and I have known him since he was very young. I followed him, I tried to be there as a friend, as a mentor. We go back a long way.

”We practised a few times [together] before coming to Vienna. The draw was tough for us to face each other, but there is always extra pressure and importance to a match when you play someone that you know very well.”

Djokovic will next take on Borna Coric of Croatia, trying to add more ranking points with every victory in Vienna as he continues his quest to either tie or break several ATP Rankings records.

Thiem advances

Later in the evening, Thiem defeated lucky loser Vitaliy Sachko from the Ukraine, ranked World No. 529, in his ATP main draw debut by the score of 6-4, 7-5. The No. 2 seed from Austria capitalized on six of his nine break-point chances to seal victory in one hour and 47 minutes.

“The match was not easy at all. I heard pretty late last night that I was not going to play Kei [Nishikori] and that I was going to play Vitaliy,” said Thiem. “Of course, the past days I was practicing towards Kei, preparing for Kei. I know him, we already had five matches. Suddenly, [I was] playing against an opponent who already had two good matches in qualifying, who maybe I only saw for two minutes on TV.”

The reinging US Open champion will next take on Cristian Garin of Chile, who edged past Stan Wawrinka from Switzerland 6-4, 6-7(9), 6-3. The encounter lasted two hours and 13 minutes.