Thiem Wins Morning Thriller Over Wawrinka, Paul Saves 3 MPs At Paris Masters; Alcaraz Tues.

by Staff | October 30th, 2023, 11:02 pm
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Opening day at the Paris Masters saw several marathon thrillers contested.

In the final match of the session, Dominic Thiem took the battle of former Slam winners over Stan Wawrinka 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 in a match that ended at 2:22am.

It was one of Thiem’s best wins, and he needed to save a match point down 3-5 in the third.

“It’s very nice to share a great and close match like that with Stan because we have a history together of many great matches,” Thiem said. “Obviously he’s one of my big idols backhand wise.

“The last two years I have lost more close matches than I have won, so this one is very, very important for me. The tennis has been getting better since Vienna. I beat two great guys in the qualies and now Stan in a match after saving match point, so it gives me a huge boost.”

The match began so late because Tommy Paul saved three match points to deny French veteran Richard Gasquet 0-6, 6-2, 7-6(8-6).

After getting blown out in the first, Paul blew a 5-2 lead in the third, then came back on Gasquet and the raucous crowd from 4-2 down in the breaker.

Paul’s win helped was what otherwise a tough day for the Americans. Taylor Fritz did roll past Sebastian Baez 6-1, 6-4 keeping his Turin hopes alive, but Alejandro Davidovich Fokina bounced No. 15 seed Ben Shelton 7-6(7-4), 5-7, 6-3. Tallon Griekspoor eased past Christopher Eubanks 6-7(2-7), 6-3, 6-4. (28y,26r) and Alexander Bublik ended Frances Tiafoe‘s season 6-3, 6-4.

Former champion Karen Khachanov got off to a good start besting Max Purcell of Australia 6-4, 6-4. But fellow winner Andy Murray fell again to Alex De Minaur. De Minaur improved to 6-0 (4-0 this year with wins on all three surfaces plus indoors now!) with a 7-6(5), 4-6, 7-5 win.

Murray led 5-2 in the third and had a match point serving 5-4, 40-30. Murray will finish 2023 having lost five of his last six.

Elsewhere, Grigor Dimitrov took care of Lorenzo Musetti 6-2, 6-7(4-7), 6-3. Nicolas Jarry of Chile got over on Australia’s Alexei Popyrin 7-5, 7-6(8-6). Botic Van De Zandschulp defeated Adrian Mannarino 6-4, 7-5. Laslo Djere eliminated Luca Van Assche of France 6-7(6-8), 6-4, 6-4. Roberto Bautista Agut sent off Jiri Lehecka 6-4, 6-2 and Russia’s Roman Safiullin defeated France’s Alexandre Muller 7-6(7-4), 6-3.

The French went 0-4 on Monday, but hopes tomorrow will be high with favorite Gael Monfils on court against Francisco Cerundolo.

No. 2 seed Carlos Alcaraz opens against Safiullin in a first-time tour-level contest.

No. 5 Andrey Rublev will challenge Nishioka, No. 10 Alexander Zverev draws Marton Fucsovics and No. 11 Hubert Hurkacz clashes with Sebastian Korda.

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