GSTAAD, Switzerland — Former World No. 3 Dominic Thiem recorded nine aces while delivering a 6-1, 7-6 (4) victory over Alexandre Muller of France in the first round of the Swiss Open Gstaad in Switzerland.
The Austrian saved all four break points he faced during the 95-minute victory. Thiem will next face Serbia’s Hamad Medjedovic, who posted a 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 victory over Zhizhen Zhang of China, the fifth seed.
“It’s always great to be here. Already on Wednesday, when I arrived, it felt like home here,” said Thiem. “With the surroundings, with the mountains, the fresh air.
“Everything is really great here, and also when I step on the court I feel great memories from 2015 and last year, when I made a nice run to the semis. The conditions here suit my game very well, so I’m super happy that I got the win as well.”
Thiem will take on Hamad Medjedovic in the second round in the Swiss Alps as he chases his first ATP Tour crown since returning to action in March last year after a long-term wrist injury.
He now holds an 8-2 record in Gstaad, having also reached the semi-finals on his second appearance there in 2022.
The 19-year-old Medjedovic upset fifth seed Zhang Zhizhen 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 for the first ATP Tour victory of his career.
The Serbian, who is currently ninth in the ATP Live Next Gen Race, converted five of his eight break points to book a second-round test against 17-time tour-level titlist Thiem.
Daniel Altmaier and Jaume Munar also enjoyed straight-sets wins to kick-start their campaigns at the clay-court event.
Germany’s Altmaier downed Benjamin Bonzi 6-3, 6-4 for his personal-best eighth tour-level win of the year to set a second-round meeting with his countryman, the fourth-seeded Yannick Hanfmann.
Munar saw off home wild card Alexander Ritschard 6-3, 6-3 to improve to 4-0 in opening-round matches in Gstaad.
Belgium’s Zizou Berge notched a 6-0, 4-6, 6-3 victory over Serbian Laslo Djere, the eighth seed. Also winning matches were Germany’s Daniel Altmaier, Spain’s Jaume Munar and Austria’s Jurij Rodionov.
The 24-year-old Zizou Bergs notched his second tour-level win of the season with a hard-fought 6-0, 4-6, 6-3 triumph against eighth seed Laslo Djere.
It was the Belgian’s first victory in three Lexus meetings with Djere, having fallen to the Serbian in Gstaad in 2021 and again at this year’s Australian Open.
Elsewhere, Luca Van Assche converted 32 of 36 first-serve points (88.9 per cent) while registering a 7-6 (2), 6-4 victory over Swedish wild card Dragos Nicolae Madaras in the first round of the Nordea Open in Bastad, Sweden.
The 19-year-old Frenchman had a 3-2 edge in aces. Van Assche will face defending champion Francisco Cerundolo of Argentina in the second round on Wednesday.
“I’m very happy to be here, my first time in Sweden,” said Van Assche.
“I’m looking forward to the second round against the defending champion. It will be a tough match, so I will just prepare and be ready for it.”
Thiago Monteiro also made a winning start in Bastad. The No. 122-ranked Brazilian defeated Daniel Elahi Galan 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 in Sweden for his eighth tour-level win of the year.
The 29-year-old Monteiro, who reached his sole ATP Tour quarter-final of 2023 so far on the clay of Santiago in February, will meet fifth seed Alexander Zverev or Alex Molcan in the second round.
Also, Brazil’s Thiago Monteiro rallied for a 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 victory over Daniel Elahi Galan of Colombia. Galan had a 10-9 edge in aces.