Thiem Topples Sousa At Gijon Open

Dominic Thiem (photo: Mateo Villalba/Gijon Open)

GIJON/STARNBERG, October 10, 2022

The ATP Tour is back in Spain for the inaugural Gijon Open. The largest city and municipality by population in the autonomous community of Asturias has been awarded a single-year licence to stage the ATP 250 indoor hard-court tournament at the Palacio de Deportes de la Guia.

Gijon is located on the coast of the Cantabrian Sea in the Bay of Biscay and once known as an industrial city. It is now an emerging tourist, university and commercial hub.

Dominic Thiem headlined Monday’s first-round action with a dominant 6-2, 6-0 win over Joao Sousa from Portugal. The 29-year-old Austrian didn’t face a break point and converted five of his own seven break-point chances to advance in 61 minutes.

“It was a great match for the first time since ages I had the feeling that the ratio between unforced errors and making the right pace, playing really aggressive, was right. Especially with the forehand, it was really good for basically the first time [since my injury], so I’m very happy about it,” Thiem said. “The way is right, the direction is right, also the way of focus and how I maintain it from the first to the last point was good and I’ll try to keep going that way.” 

The World No. 165 will next take on either eighth-seeded Spaniard Albert Ramos-Vinolas or US-American Marcos Giron. Thiem will try to reach his first ATP Tour quarterfinal since Kitzbühel in July.

“I’ll try to go on court the same way like today as it was very, very good. It helps that I have a big goal in mind, to finish the year in Top 100, which would be amazing,” Thiem said. “I need good matches, I need victories, I still need quite a lot of points. So yeah, I hope I can continue that way on Wednesday and looking forward to it.”

In other action, Frenchman Constant Lestienne led Sebastian Baez 7-6(5), 4-4 when the Argentine was forced to retire due to injury. Brazilian Thiago Monteiro edged past Benjamin Bonzi of France 6-4, 7-5 in one hour and 27 minutes to set a meeting with second-seeded home favourite Pablo Carreno Busta.

Paul defeats Landaluce

Later in the evening, Tommy Paul from the United States proved to be too strong for 16-year-old unranked Spanish wild card entry Martin Landaluce, the 2022 US Open Boys’ singles champion, who made his debut on the ATP Tour.

Fifth favourite Paul won 61 per cent of the total points played to secure a 6-3, 6-0 victory in one hour and 20 minutes. Up next for Paul will be the winner of the encounter between two qualifiers, when Marco Trungelliti of Argentina faces Nicolas Alvarez Varona of Spain.