ATP

Thiem overcomes Wolf to set up Dimitrov clash in North Carolina

By Sports Desk August 23, 2022

Dominic Thiem defeated J.J. Wolf to set up a showdown with top seed Grigor Dimitrov in the second round of the Winston-Salem Open.

Thiem showed signs of returning to his best with runs to the last eight or better in three tournaments in July, but the 2020 US Open winner was in danger of falling at the first hurdle in North Carolina when he lost the first set against the American wildcard.

But Thiem, a debutant in the competition, bounced back, and after a long rain delay he prevailed 6-7 (5-7) 7-5 7-6 (8-6), and he will now face Dimitrov, who is seeking a first trophy since 2017.

The Austrian had to save two match points during a last-set tie-break, and said afterwards: "First of all I'm super happy to get that win, [my] first win on hard courts since a very long time, since March 2021, I guess.

"It was not easy at all today with the rain delay, coming back out there at 11:15 p.m. It was very late. I had trouble [getting] into the match again.

"But luckily I raised the level a little bit in the third-set tie-break and compared to Kitzbuhel, where similar stuff happened with the rain, the luck was on my side today."

Second seed Botic van de Zandschulp also learned of his last-32 opponent on Monday, with Tallon Griekspoor beating fellow lucky loser Taro Daniel 7-6 (7-3) 6-3.

Last year's beaten finalist Mikael Ymer ensured a safe passage through, meanwhile, thanks to a 6-2 6-3 victory against Federico Coria.

Australia's James Duckworth also advanced with a 4-6 6-3 7-5 (7-5) comeback win over compatriot Thanasi Kokkinakis, while Kyle Edmund saw off Michail Pervolarakis 6-2 7-5.

Sixth seed Nikoloz Basilashvili was a big-name exit, as he went down to Thiago Monteiro.

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