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.
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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