ATP Roland Garros: Dominic Thiem downs Marin Cilic to make winning start



by   |  VIEW 2074

ATP Roland Garros: Dominic Thiem downs Marin Cilic to make winning start

The US Open champion and a two-time Roland Garros finalist has improved his first-round tally in Paris to 7-0, defeating Marin Cilic 6-4, 6-3, 6-3 in two hours and six minutes. It was their fourth encounter and the fourth triumph for the Austrian who hit 17 winners and 21 unforced errors, suffering two breaks to mount the pressure on the other side of the net.

On the other hand, Marin gave away 45% of the initial shot points, getting broken six times from 13 opportunities to end his Parisian campaign in the first round. The Austrian had a massive advantage in the shortest range up to four strokes, controlling the pace in the mid-range and most extended exchanges to seal the deal in straight sets in his second and last clay-court tournament of the season.

Cilic lost patience in the long rally in the first game, netting a forehand to experience an early break. Instead of confirming the break, Thiem sprayed a backhand error in game two to make a shaky start in his games, allowing Marin to level the score at 1-1.

Both players produced comfortable holds in the next six games to stay locked at 4-4, with Cilic spraying an error in game nine to fall 5-4 behind. Serving for the set, Thiem fended off three break chances and sealed the opener following a forehand error from the Croat, wrapping up the first part of the encounter 6-4 in 44 minutes.

Carried by this momentum, Dominic dropped three points behind the initial shot, sailing through his service games and waiting for a chance on the return patiently. He didn't have to wait for too long, stealing Marin's serve in the first game following a backhand mistake from the Croat, who sent a forehand long in game two to fall further behind.

Serving in game five, Cilic repelled three break chances to avoid an even bigger deficit, staying within one break deficit until game nine when Marin served to stay in the set.

Dominic Thiem is 7-0 in the first-round matches at Roland Garros.

The lower-ranked player gave his best to remain in touch, fending off two set points before Thiem converted the third with a forced error to move two sets to love in front.

Finding his strokes, Cilic kicked off the third set with a break, holding at love with a service winner to cement the advantage and move 2-0 in front. Missing an easy volley at the net, Marin got broken in the fourth game and once again at 2-3 when his volley couldn't pass the net, pushing Thiem closer to the finish line.

Serving for the triumph at 5-3, Dominic saved a break chance with a service winner, sealing the deal with another one to advance into the second round.