Austrian tennis star Dominic Thiem admitted to being nervous during his Vienna opening match. The top-ranked Austrian survived a tricky opener as he edged out qualifier world No. 134 Ruben Bemelmans 7-5 7-6 (5). The Belgian had the first break points of the match -- but failed to convert any of his three break points in the fifth game of the first set.
Thiem, 25, failed to convert any of his four set points on Bemelmans' serve in the 10th game. However, the Austrian kept his focus as he broke the Belgian in the 12th game to clinch the opener. As no break points were seen, the second set went into a tie-break.
Bemelmans had a 5-4 tie-break lead and two serves -- but then lost the following three points and the match. The Austrian converted just 1-of-5 of his break point chances but saved 3-of-3 of Bemelmans' break point opportunities.
The match came to an end after an hour and 45 minutes of play. It was the first-ever meeting between French Open runner-up Thiem and Bemelmans. "It was a tough match, as always, I was a little nervous today. Without the crowd's support I probably would have lost the set or the match.
I need to improve my return big time," Thiem said post-match, per Lukas Zahrer. Thiem plays next American Sam Querrey -- who beat French Jo Wilfried Tsonga in three sets. Also read: Jason Kubler speaks on being nominated for ATP Comeback Player of the Year