Dominic Thiem cruised into the second round of the Australian Open after a 7-6, 6-2, 6-3 win over Mikhail Kukushkin today.
Last year’s Open finalist was made to work for the win, especially win the first set where Thiem was broken twice before he fought back to 6-5 to take it 7-2 in the tie-break.
Kukushkin then took a 2-0 lead in the second set before Thiem got going, stringy g together six games in a row to win.
Kukushkin then struggled as Thiem built momentum to take out the match.
He will face either Dominik Koepfer or Hugo Dellien in the second round.
“It was very interesting because it was our first meeting,” Thiem said post-match.
“There are not many guys left who I haven’t faced on tour so that was really interesting. He is really experienced having played the fourth round here.
“I think he likes the conditions it’s way faster and the first set was super challenging. A break down I think I saved some set points. In general I am very happy to be back and have a successful first round.
“The ATP Cup was tough because out of nowhere you’re facing another top ten guy. It’s best of three so there is no time to adjust. Courts are pretty quick this year that didn’t help me too much last week.