Austrian tennis superstar Dominic Thiem claimed it wasn't easy all playing against world No. 529 Vitaliy Sachko in his opener at an ATP 500 event in Vienna. Thiem, who entered the match as the big favorite, didn't win in a convincing way as Sachko put up a great fight.
But still the Austrian collected a straight-set win as he beat Sachko 6-4 7-5 despite losing his serve four times during the match. After former world No. 4 Kei Nishikori withdraw from Vienna, he was replaced by lucky loser Sachko.
"The match was not easy at all. I heard pretty late last night that I was not going to play Kei [Nishikori] and that I was going to play Vitaliy,” Thiem said, per the ATP website. “Of course, the past days I was practising towards Kei, preparing for Kei.
I know him, we already had five matches. Suddenly, [I was] playing against an opponent who already had two good matches in qualifying, who maybe I only saw for two minutes on TV”.
Thiem happy with the way he closed out the match against Sachko
Thiem claimed two early breaks to open a comfortable 5-1 lead but then Sachko responded with two breaks on his own to reduce the deficit to 5-4.
After getting two breaks back, Sachko dropped his serve in the 10th game as Thiem claimed the break in the key moment to win the opener. In the second set, Thiem once again claimed three breaks and lost his serve twice as he managed to get the job done in two sets.
"I wanted to present myself well in front of the home crowd and to find the right match intensity,” Thiem added. “The high match intensity was not easy and he was playing well, especially from the moment I was 5-1 up in the first set.
From that moment on, I thought it was a pretty close and decent match. I am very happy with how I closed it out and how I found a pretty good intensity towards the end of the match”. Thiem plays next rising Chilean star Cristian Garin, who surprised Stan Wawrinka 6-4 6-7 (9) 6-3.
"The match was unreal. I played at a very high level, so I am very happy to be in the next round,” Garin said in an on-court interview. Garin is now ready to face home favorite Thiem in the Vienna round-of-16. "Dominic is one of the great players that I look [at] a lot,” Garin said. “For me, it is a great match”.