(Metz) The Austrian Dominic Thiem continues his strong comeback since this summer, with his success Wednesday 6-3, 7-6 (7-3), on the French Richard Gasquet (83e and passes) in the first round of the ATP 250 tournament in Metz.

“I was happy to play against Richard (Gasquet, editor’s note)”, rejoiced the Austrian, absent from the courts from June 2021 to March 2022 due to a wrist operation.

“There were long rallies and I am satisfied to have resumed victoriously after my good week spent”, added Thiem, former world number 3, today down to 182.e place at the ATP but present in Metz thanks to its protected classification.

The Austrian is coming off a defeat in the final in the Rennes Challenger against Frenchman Ugo Humbert. He had reached his first semi-final at the end of July in Gstaad since that of the Masters 1000 in Madrid in May 2021.

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After losing his serve at 3-1, Thiem, who played with the lines and the cushioning, immediately broke the serve of Gasquet, who multiplied the faults (6-3).

In the second set, the Austrian was again broken at 3-2 but quickly recovered at 4-4 on a double fault from the Frenchman, before getting a first match point at 5-4. Gasquet saved her, before managing to go to the tiebreaker, where he collapsed under the battering of his opponent (7-3).

In the next round, Thiem will face Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz, 10e at the ATP.

“I missed playing better,” regretted Gasquet. “In tennis, there is an opponent and whoever wins is better than the other. I didn’t serve well, my game suits him well and I just made mistakes,” he added.

In the other matches, the Swiss Stan Wawrinka (284e world), coming out of the qualifications for which he had been invited, beat quite easily, 7-6 (7-1), 6-2, the Portuguese Joao Sousa (55e).

Ex-N.3 in the world, winner of three Grand Slams, Wawrinka will challenge Daniil Medvedev, 4e world, in the next round.

Sweden’s Mikael Ymer (100e) dominated the Frenchman Adrian Mannarino (47e) and Benjamin Bonzi (61e) emerged victorious (6-2, 6-1) from the Franco-French duel with Ugo Humbert (110e), whom he had already beaten in the first round of the United States Open.

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