Carlos Alcaraz, Dominic Thiem win first-round thrillers in Hamburg and Gstaad

By: Express News Service |

Updated: July 19, 2022 10:51:42 pm

Carlos Alcaraz (L) and Dominic Thiem. (Sources: Twitter/@ATPTour, Reuters)

Carlos Alcaraz returned to competitive action on Tuesday with a win over World No. 259 Nicola Kuhn at the Hamburg European Open. The Spaniard made his first appearance since losing the fourth round at Wimbledon to Jannik Sinner.

Alcaraz showed signs of rust as he opened the match without much confidence, dropping the first set after failing to convert three break-point opportunities. The Spaniard rallied quickly to win the first four games and take the second, before being forced to a third-set tiebreaker.

He prevailed in his fourth consecutive tiebreaker to win the first-round encounter — which was much harder than he would have anticipated — 3-6, 6-1, 7-6(3).

The 19-year-old has quickly risen through the ranks on tour this year, and the match was his 36th win of the year, and 21st on clay. He is now ranked 6th in the world and is likely to keep his place there in the buildup to the US Open.

Alcaraz takes on one of Argentina’s Sebastian Baez — runner up at last week’s Swedish Open — or Serbia’s Filip Krajinovic at the ATP 500 event next.

Got there in the end 😅

A very tricky encounter but top seed @carlosalcaraz gets past Kuhn 3-6 6-1 7-6 in a topsy-turvy match on the German clay!@hamburgopen pic.twitter.com/GGU6RLbD51

— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) July 19, 2022

Elsewhere, Austria’s Dominic Thiem continued to make progress in his comeback on tour as he defeated France’s Hugo Gaston in three sets in the first round of the ATP 250 event in Gstaad. The duo played out an entertaining five-set match at the 2020 French Open fourth round, and some of those exchanges were replicated in Gstaad.

Moving through! 😃@domithiem takes out Hugo Gaston 1-6 6-1 7-6 to advance in Gstaad!@SwissOpenGstaad | #SwissOpenGstaad pic.twitter.com/yyd0Thx8ht

— ATP Tour (@atptour) July 19, 2022

Thiem arrived in Switzerland after back-to-back confidence-boosting wins in Bastad, his first in 426 days after a wrist injury sidelined the 2020 US Open champion. He also defeated World No. 20 Roberto Bautista Agut in the Swedish city.

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Much like Alcaraz though, Thiem was slow out of the gates, dropping the first set 1-6 before coming back strong to take the second 6-1 himself. The third set ended up being a stern test, a cagey affair without a single break of serve, before the Austrian saved a match point in the tiebreaker and took it 9-7. Thiem takes on  Argentina’s Federico Delbonis in the second round in Gstaad.

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