Tennis: Thiem wrestles Gaston in Gstaad


Dominic Thiem won his opening game at the ATP tournament in Gstaad on Tuesday. The 28-year-old from Lower Austria won 1:6 6:1 7:6 (9/7) after a hard fight against Frenchman Hugo Gaston, number seven, after a playing time of 1.59 hours. In the tie-break he was able to fend off a match point. The next opponent for the Austrian is now the Argentinian Federico Delbonis.

Thiem, who won the title in Gstaad in 2015, made it 2-0 by winning the direct duels against 21-year-old Gaston. In 2020, the former world number three in the round of 16 of the French Open also had the upper hand in five sets. Gaston, who is now in 59th place in the ATP ranking, had pulled the Austrian’s nerve with a large number of stop balls.

“The first two sentences were very one-sided, once for Hugo, once for me. In the beginning I had problems with the altitude. Also, he played very well. With the first break in the second set I played better and better. The tie break was really tough. The odds are always 50:50. I’m really happy that I got this win in the end,” said Thiem, who recently celebrated his first victories on the ATP tour in 14 months in Bastad.

Increase after initial problems

Thiem lost the first set in just 28 minutes. While the Austrian made too many easy mistakes, the 21-year-old Frenchman was more than solid. Gaston didn’t give Thiem any free points and also had a very good length in his shots. Thiem quickly fell 0: 4 behind, but by then he had also missed two breakballs. When the score was 0:5, the Austrian made his first game before Gaston converted his first set point with a stop.

In the second set, Thiem turned the pace screw, put more force into his punches and gained confidence. The reward was an early break to make it 3-1, which he confidently confirmed. Gaston came under increasing pressure during rallies, made more mistakes and gave up his serve to make it 5-1. Thiem used his first set ball and equalized the set in just 27 minutes.

The deciding set was then at eye level. Gaston increasingly played his unpleasant stop balls and received almost hopeless balls. But Thiem held back, without breakballs it went to 3: 3. In a hard-fought game, Thiem sniffed the break, but missed two chances. The Austrian mastered a tricky situation at 5: 6 and 0:30, it went into a tie-break. There Thiem was able to fend off a match ball with his own serve at 6/7 and used his second himself after a volley error by the Frenchman.

ATP 250 tournament in Gstaad

(Switzerland, 598,900 euros, sand)

Casper Ruud (NOR/1) bye
Jiri Lehecka (CZE) Tomas Martin Etcheverry (ARG) 6:1 6:3
James Munar (ESP) Bernabe Zapata Miralles (ESP) 6:3 3:6 7:5
Alexander Ritschard (FRA) Joao Sousa (BY/8) 6:3 6:3
Albert Ramos-Vinolas (ESP/4) bye
Marc-Andrea Hüsler (SUI) Dominic Stricker (SUI) -:- -:-
Thiago Monteiro (BRA) Nicolas Jarry (CHI) -:- -:-
Yannick Hanfmann (GER) Cristian Garin (CHI/6) 6:3 6:4
Dominic Thiem (AUT) Hugo Gaston (FRA / 7) 1:6 6:1 7:6 (9/7)
Federico Delbonis (ARG) Mikael Ymer (SWE) 6:4 7:5
Juan Pablo Varillas (PER) Lorenzo Sonego (ITA) 7:6 (7/5) 6:2
Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP / 3) bye
Pedro Martinez (ESP / 5) Carlos Taberner (ESP) 6:4 6:3
Elia Ymer (SWE) Benoit Pair (FRA) 6:2 2:0 ret.
Richard Gasquet (FRA) Roberto Carballes Baena (ESP) 7:5 6:4
Matteo Berrettini (ITA / 2) bye


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