Australian Open 2021: US Open champion Dominic Thiem overcomes Mikhail Kukushkin hurdle

Australian Open 2021: US Open champion Dominic Thiem overcomes Mikhail Kukushkin hurdle

Thiem, a slim loser to Novak Djokovic in final 12 months’s Melbourne ultimate, got here via his match on Rod Laver Enviornment 7-6 (7/2), 6-2, 6-3, however was made to work for it.

Australian Open 2021: US Open champion Dominic Thiem overcomes Mikhail Kukushkin hurdle

Dominic Thiem gestures after defeating Kazakhstan’s Mikhail Kukushkin throughout their first spherical match on the Australian Open tennis championship. AP

US Open champion Dominic Thiem was given an unexpectedly robust take a look at as he kicked off his bid for a maiden Australian Open title Monday, pressed onerous by Kazakh veteran Mikhail Kukushkin earlier than racing to the end line.

The third-seeded Austrian, a slim loser to Novak Djokovic in final 12 months’s Melbourne ultimate, got here via his match on Rod Laver Enviornment 7-6 (7/2), 6-2, 6-3, however was made to work for it.

“It is attention-grabbing as a result of it is the primary time I’ve met him and there is not too many I did not meet on tour,” mentioned Thiem of his opponent.

“He is very skilled and the primary set was super-challenging. However, typically, I am very joyful to be again and have success within the first spherical.”

Kukushkin, 33, had misplaced his opening-round match at Melbourne on 11 of his earlier 12 appearances.

Thiem will subsequent play both German Dominik Keopfer or Bolivia’s Hugo Dellien, with Australia’s Nick Kyrgios looming as a possible third-round opponent.

Now 27, the baseliner lastly cracked the massive time when he produced a historic comeback to beat Alexander Zverev within the US Open ultimate final 12 months.

He’s in Melbourne with out his coach Nicolas Massu, who examined constructive for the coronavirus , and is as a substitute working below his father, Wolfgang.

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