Top seed Dominic Thiem will try to pick up the pace of a slow-starting season when he begins the ATP event in Dubai against South African outsider Lloyd Harris.

The 81st-ranked qualifier staged a comeback over Australian Christopher O’Connell 6-7(5), 6-4, 6-1 to reach the second round on Monday.. 

Thiem will be aiming to get away to a fast start at the Aviation Club with no fans present due to COVID restrictions

Harris will meet Dominic Thiem in the second round.after winning just one match last week in Doha.

Austrian Thiem, the reigning US Open champion, has never played Harris, who is making his debut in the emirate.

French veteran Richard Gasquet, 34, crossed a personal milestone with his 550th ATP victory, defeating Italian Marco Cecchinato 6-4, 6-2.

The youngest player (aged 15) to ever win an ATP match in 2002 at Monte Carlo after qualifying into the field and hailed as the great hope of the French game, is the sixth active player to earn that many wins on the Tour.

The former No. 7 trails on the all-time list headed by the 1,243 of Roger Federer and the 1,003 of Rafael Nadal; 

Gasquet owns a pair of Dubai semi-finals (2009, 2011) and will next play 13th seed Hubert Hurkacz.

“I’m feeling great here, I know this court well. It’s fast and I like to play on it. I won the first set and played better in the second.”

Other winners included German Jan Lennard-Struff, whose 16 aces helped him to a 6-3, 6-2 defeat of Mikhail Kukushkin and Finn Emil Ruusuvuori, who stopped Aussie Jordan Thompson 6-3, 7-6(5) with eight aces and three breaks of serve.

Main photo :- Lloyd Harris to face Dominic Thiem in first round.

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