Austrian tennis star Dominic Thiem admitted he was uncertain how would thing go against American Marcos Giron in his first clay match of the season. Thiem, ranked at No. 4 in the world, handed a 6-1 6-3 loss to world No. 91 Giron in his Madrid Masters opener.
The two players were all tied at one game apiece after the opening two games but then Thiem claimed back-to-back breaks and won five games in a row to win the opener. Giron served out the opening game of the second set to stop Thiem's run but the Austrian claimed his third break of the match in the third game to take a 2-1 lead.
Thiem realized his fourth match point in the ninth game to complete a straight-set win. "I was uncertain how things will be going. The game worked out very well in the past days of practice, but I was always practising on the outside courts which are faster, which are smaller, so I was just not sure how it was going to be in the match," Thiem said.
"But there were some things which I think made [the match] a little bit easier after such a long time, especially the conditions in Madrid, which are great for me. "Then [I have] amazing memories on this court, where I already played probably some of the best matches of my career.
I think that's why things worked out quite well tonight."
Thiem needed a break
After being out for more than a month and a half, Thiem returned to action on the clay courts of Madrid.. Thiem's last tournament before Madrid was Dubai, where he suffered a shock loss to Lloyd Harris in his opener at the tournament.
"For my game, I need 100 per cent intensity and 100 per cent energy. I'm not the guy who can serve through a match or who can play with a little bit of intensity and still win. I'm just not that type of guy," Thiem said.
"I need 100 per cent in every aspect of my game. I was just not able to put that on court in Doha, Dubai, or towards the end of the Australian Open, so that's why it was better to take a break. "[It was] better to come back when it's possible again to play with that 100 per cent in every aspect of my game."