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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Tuesday July 26, 2022

Dominic Thiem

Dominic Thiem is finding his form on the European clay this summer.

Photo Source: Getty

Home cooking is proving to be a nourishing element for Dominic Thiem.

The former World No.3 continued his recent surge at Kitzbuhel, where he is the 2019 champion, on Tuesday, defeating lucky loser Alexander Shevchenko, 6-4, 6-2, to set a second-round match with compatriot Sebastian Ofner on Wednesday in Austria.

Tennis Express

“Definitely it was physically a very tough match,” Thiem told the appreciative crowd after the match. “Long rallies, sometimes amazing plays from both of us, and I’m very happy with the way I started here in Kitzbuhel.

“The way I walked in with the atmosphere, with all the memories, with the full center court, it was unreal and it gave me goosebumps.”

Thiem was carrying a 10-match tour-level winning streak that took him through Roland-Garros, but since then he has hit a spike in form and won six of his last eight. After a nine-month hiatus due to wrist and hand injuries, Thiem has needed time to trust his body and find confidence in his game. He appears to be finding it this month.

Thiem won 76 percent of his first-serve points and 60 percent of his second-serve points against the Russian. He broke serve nine times on 13 opportunities to deliver the win in one hour and 29 minutes.

But the 2020 US Open champion admitted that he’s still not exactly beaming with an invincible air.

“I was very nervous,” he said. “Even though the last weeks were better and better it’s still not like two or three years ago, where everything was going by itself somehow.”

199-ranked Thiem improves to 6-8 on the season with his win. With a decent draw in front of him, he could be in line for another deep run, after reaching the semifinals last week in Gstaad, where he fell to Matteo Berrettini.

Pablo Andujar (d. Sonego), Yannick Hanfmann (d. Melzer), Sebastian Ofner (d. Gasquet) and Pedro Martinez (d. Jarry) also advanced on Tuesday at Kitzbuhel.


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