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Tennis Round-up: Thiem into Australian Open main draw

January 10, 2024 00:06 IST
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IMAGE: Dominic Thiem secured a place in the main draw. Photograph: Stephanie Lecocq/Reuters

Dominic Thiem, U.S. Open winner in 2020, has secured a place in the main draw of the Australian Open after the withdrawal of Reilly Opelka, the tournament organisers confirmed on Friday.

Thiem, who lost to Rafal Nadal 7-5 6-1 in the first round of the Brisbane International on Tuesday, will now enter the first round of the Australian Open which begins on Jan. 14 and avoids the qualifiers.

The 30-year-old Austrian broke the Grand Slam stranglehold of Roger Federer, Nadal and Novak Djokovic by winning the 2020 U.S. Open but a wrist injury the following year sidelined him for months.


Thiem also reached the Australian Open final in 2020, losing to Djokovic. Now ranked 98th, Thiem won his first match at a Grand Slam since 2021 at the U.S. Open in August last year before losing to Ben Shelton in the second round.

IMAGE: Roberto Carballes Baena picked up an easy win. Photograph: Edith Geuppert/Reuters

Roberto Bautista Agut makes early exit

Roberto Carballes Baena upended two-time champion and fellow Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut 6-4, 6-3 in first-round action Tuesday at the ASB Classic in Auckland, New Zealand.

Carballes Baena took advantage of an inconsistent performance from Bautista Agut to win the match in one hour, 43 minutes and set up a second-round clash versus seventh-seeded Sebastian Ofner.

The Austrian notched a 6-4, 6-2 win over Denis Shapovalov in the Canadian's first competitive match since he reached the fourth round at Wimbledon in July, sidelined after that because of a knee injury.

Also on Tuesday, sixth-seeded Arthur Fils fired nine aces en route to a 6-3, 6-4 win over defending champion and fellow Frenchman Richard Gasquet. Eighth-seeded Max Purcell recorded a 6-4, 6-4 victory over fellow Australian Kiranpal Pannu.

Adelaide International 

Seventh-seeded Jiri Lehecka breezed to a 6-1, 6-3 win over Australian Adam Walton in a first-round match in Australia.

The Czech fired nine aces and had 20 winners to win the match in 71 minutes.

Italian Lorenzo Sonego posted a 7-5, 2-6, 7-6 (9) victory over German Yannick Hanfmann to advance to the second round, while Serbian Dusan Lajovic also notched a three-set 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 win.

Australians Jordan Thompson, Christopher O'Connell and Alex Bolt joined Italian Matteo Arnaldi, Great Britain's Daniel Evans, Alexander Bublik of Kazakhstan and Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic in securing straight-set victories.

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