Playing at the EFG Swiss Open Gstaad for the first time since his 2015 title run, Dominic Thiem won a dramatic opening match on Tuesday against seventh seed and 2021 Gstaad finalist Hugo Gaston.
The Austrian picked up his third round-level victory of the season with a 1-6, 6-1, 7-6(7) win in Roy Emerson Arena, using a big serve to erase a match point in the tie-break as he claimed the final three points of the contest.
“It’s always really challenging. That tie-break in the third set was very, very tough,” said Thiem, who hit a dipping return on his second match point to throw his opponent’s serve-and-volley attempt.
“The first two sets were very one-sided, the first for Hugo and the second for me. Then the third set, no breaks so the tie-break had to decide it. Tie-breaks in deciding sets are always somehow 50/50 .It was so close…Really happy that I got the win.”
One week after earning his first match wins since his right-wrist injury in Bastad, Thiem made a slow start in the mountains of Gstaad before finding traction with his ground game in set two.
“I had some troubles to get used to the conditions,” Theim said, referencing the Gstaad altitude. “Also he played well. [He was a] finalist last year so he gave me a lot of troubles. When I made that first break in the second set, from then on I loosened up a little bit. I started to play better and better and it paid off at the end.”
Thiem advances to face Federico Delbonis, who was a 6-4, 7-5 winner against Mikael Ymer on Tuesday.
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Germany’s Yannick Hanfmann upset sixth seed Cristian Garin 6-3, 6-4 after winning a pair of three-setters to qualify for the main draw. The 32-year-old earned his first tour-level win since he reached the Santiago quarter-finals in February, while Garin was competing for the first time since his Wimbledon quarter-final run.
Richard Gasquet was also victorious on Tuesday, earning a 7-5, 6-4 result against Roberto Carballes Baena to set up a second-round meeting with second seed Matteo Berrettini.