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By Chris Oddo | Wednesday February 15, 2017

 
Dominic Thiem

Dominic Thiem rallied from a set down to defeat Alexander Zverev in Rotterdam for a much-needed win.

Photo Source: TennisTV

No.2-seeded Dominic Thiem was badly in need of a win to snap a two-match losing streak and defend points earned from his title in Buenos Aires last season.

Also See: Becker Says Sharapova Deserves a Second Chance

It wasn’t easy, but he got it.

The World No.8 battled back from a set down to tame last week’s Montpellier champion Alexander Zverev, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, at the ABN Amro World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam. The victory was Thiem’s fourth straight over Zverev, but first on a hardcourt.

Thiem started slow, dropping the first four games before rallying to close to 4-2 in the first set. But Zverev held his nerve and served the set out with a booming first serve to close it, 6-3.

Thiem would stay on point and break for 4-2 in set two when Zverev airmailed a backhand slice. The Austrian saved both break points he faced in the middle set and held at love to take it to a decider.

Thiem also moved ahead in the third set, much to the chagrin of Zverev, who obliterated a racquet when he failed to chase down a Thiem dropper and fell behind by a break in the third game. This earned him jeers from the crowd and a warning from umpire Cedric Mourier (to be fair: Thiem also cracked a racquet in this heated, testy battle).


Zverev’s temper seemed to rally him in the next game and he broke through when a Thiem forehand clipped the net.

The pair would march in lockstep to four-all in the decider, at which time Thiem took the reins again to break for 5-4 as a Zverev forehand shank sailed off into the crowd to give the Austrian a chance to serve for the match.

Thiem made the most of his opportunity, punching a forehand volley to seal his victory in one hour and 44 minutes. He moves on to face Gilles Simon in the second round.

 

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