Dominic Thiem overcame a potential spoiler on Wednesday as the top seed advanced 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-2 in his opening match in Dubai over Asian Karatsev on Wednesday.
The world No. 4 Austrian who struggled to digest a fourth-round Melbourne loss to Grigor Dimitrov, rediscovered his positive match play vibe in the two-hour win.
Karatsev achieved a miracle Grand Slam semi-final from his qualifying start in Australia and now ranks 45th.
“We played in juniors 10 or 11 years ago, and we also practised in Vienna, so he wasn’t completely new to me,” Thiem said.
“He has raised his level so much in the past six months, especially last month in Australia.”
The seed had to fight back after dropping the opener: “I was up in the tie-break and then I lost it, which was not nice.
“But he helped me a little bit in that first game (second set) with two double faults.
“After you lose a close set, it’s super important to have a good start in the next one.
“It was pretty fast, 3-0, and so I was positive again in my mind. I also loosened up a little bit and started to play better.”
US Open winner Thiem next takes on Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut, who beat Alexander Bublik 6-4, 6-3 in 70 minutes.
Holder Andrey Rublev got a free ride when opponent Richard Gasquet was unable to front up for their second-round match due to a leg problem.
Main Photo:- Dominic Thiem winning in Doha – by ATPTour.com