Looking fresh again after a few weeks off, US Open champion Dominic Thiem advanced to the third round of the Madrid Open with a comfortable 6-1, 6-3 victory over American Marcos Girona.
Team has controlled the Magic Box from the start in their first game since March. The fourth-ranked Austrian won at the beginning of the round in Doha and Dubai and felt like he needed a break.
“I need 100% intensity and 100% energy for my game,” said the 27-year-old Team.
“I’m not the person who can serve in a match or who can play with a little intensity and still win. I need 100% in every aspect of my game.
“I just couldn’t put him on the court, like in Doha, Dubai or at the end of the Australian Open, so it was better to take a break.”
Team, the third seed in Madrid, has not won a tournament since retaking his first US Open Grand Slam title in September.
“There was no concern, but I was definitely unsure how things would go,” said the two-time finalist in Madrid.
He said his goal is to return to top form at the French Open.
“That’s where I want to be at the top of my game again,” he said.
“Two weeks ago I wasn’t sure if I was playing here, so expectations are still super low. A victory like today’s is already a great success because I have a chance to play another game at the highest level, so it will help me again in the next weeks. “
Team said he would probably spend more time in his career.
“In fact, last year, the six-month break (because of the coronavirus pandemic), I felt so good,” he said.
“I definitely think it’s better to take a little more in the future. I think it’s good to do and especially when you get a little older … The older you are, the more experienced you understand, I think it’s good sometimes to take a break. It definitely helped me. “
Team’s next opponent in Madrid will be the Australian Alex De Minaur, who advanced after Lloyd Harris had to retire from their match.
Sixth seed Andrei Rublev advanced to the third round, defeating American Tommy Paul 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-4, while Kay Nishikori reached the second round, defeating Karen Khachanov 6-7 (6), 6- 2, 6-2.
Eighth-placed Mateo Beretini defeated Fabio Fognini 6-3, 6-4 in a second-round match against Italy, while Alexander Bublik defeated 11-seeded Denis Shapovalov 6-4, 5-7, 6-4.
American Taylor Fritz lost 7-5, 5-7, 6-4 in a first round match against Albert Ramos-Vinolas, who dropped out of the Estoril Open title. Felix Auger-Aliasime fell 6-1, 6-4 to Casper Ruud.
In the women’s quarterfinals, third-placed Simona Halep, a two-time Madrid champion, was upset by 13th-placed Elise Mertens, 4-6, 7-5, 7-5 in a match that lasted more than two and a half hours in the central court .
Two Americans lost – Arina Sabalenka defeated Jessica Pegula 6-1, 6-2, and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova defeated Jennifer Brady 7-5, 6-7 (8), 6-3.