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

Thiem, a small loser to Novak Djokovic in final 12 months’s Melbourne last, managed his match at Rod Laver Enviornment 7-6 (7/2), 6-2, 6-3, however was made for work there.

Dominic Thiem gestures after beating Kazakhstani Mikhail Kukushkin of their Australian Open tennis championship first spherical match. AP

US Open champion Dominic Thiem suffered an surprising check as he launched his bid for a primary Australian Open title on Monday, pressed by Kazakh veteran Mikhail Kukushkin earlier than working to the end line.

The third-seeded Austrian, narrowly dropping to Novak Djokovic within the Melbourne last final 12 months, managed his match towards Rod Laver Enviornment 7-6 (7/2), 6-2, 6- 3, however was made to work there. .

“It is fascinating as a result of it is the primary time I’ve met him and there aren’t many who I have never met on tour,” Thiem mentioned of his opponent.

“He is very skilled and the primary set was very troublesome. However total I am very completely happy to be again and to achieve success within the first spherical.”

Kukushkin, 33, had misplaced his opener in Melbourne in 11 of his earlier 12 matches.

Thiem will then face the German Dominik Keopfer or the Bolivian Hugo Dellien, the Australian Nick Kyrgios rising as a possible opponent within the third spherical.

Now 27, the baseman lastly snapped the massive second when he produced a historic comeback to beat Alexander Zverev in final 12 months’s US Open last.

He’s in Melbourne with out his coach Nicolas Massu, who has examined optimistic for the Corona virus , and as a substitute works beneath the path of his father, Wolfgang.

In the meantime, sixth seed Alexander Zverev mutilated a racket in frustration as he was compelled to dig deep towards Marcos Giron earlier than reaching the second spherical of the Australian Open on Monday.

The German, a semi-finalist final 12 months who’s aiming for a primary Grand Slam title, misplaced a decent first set to the 73rd-ranked American earlier than climbing to 6-7 (8/10), 7-6 (7/5), 6-3, 6-2 win.

It was a harder job than anticipated with Zverev crushing his racket in anger throughout the second set earlier than regaining his composure.

“He performed amazingly. He put me on the ropes, particularly within the second set tie-break,” mentioned Zverev, who’s within the second spherical for a fifth consecutive 12 months.

“I used to be simply completely happy to cross. Enjoying the primary spherical of a Grand Slam isn’t simple. My physique was a bit drained, I used to be a bit drained.”

He’ll then meet both the Japanese Taro Daniel or the American qualifier Maxime Gressy.

The 23-year-old entered the match after beating world quantity 12 Denis Shapovalov within the ATP Cup final week whereas pushing Novak Djokovic within the third set, earlier than being crushed by fourth-placed Daniil Medvedev.

He’s seeking to turn into the youngest Grand Slam singles champion since Djokovic gained the title at Melbourne Park in 2011.

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