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Monte Carlo Masters: Thiem beats Gasquet in opener; De Minuar, Wawrinka also advance

Monte Carlo Masters: Thiem beats Gasquet in opener; De Minuar, Wawrinka also advance.

Monte Carlo : Former World No. 3 Austria’s Dominic Thiem trounced Frenchman Richard Gasquet 6-1, 6-4 at the Monte-Carlo Masters opening round to earn his first win at an ATP Masters 1000 event since 2021.
Thiem produced a clean-hitting performance against Gasquet to triumph after one hour and 29 minutes on Monday. The Austrian had lost his past five matches at this level, having defeated Marton Fucsovics in Rome in May 2021 prior to his wrist injury.
The 29-year old moved well throughout the clash and opened his shoulders to strike 18 winners. He now leads Gasquet 3-2 in their ATP Head-to-Head series, having won their past three meetings.
“At the start I played very well. It was good for me that I broke him. I was going ahead the whole match. I am pleased with the performance. Richard is in good form, he already won a tournament this year. It is always tough but at the same time nice to play him because he has such a nice game and is a legend of tennis,” Theim was quoted as saying by the tournament website.
The Austrian enjoyed a run to his first tour-level quarterfinal of the season in Estoril last week and will look to back that up in the Principality, where he is making his seventh appearance.Thiem, who has clinched 10 of his 17 tour-level titles on clay and has made two Masters 1000 finals on the surface, will next face sixth-seed Holger Rune.
In other action, Alex de Minaur of Australia made a winning start to his clay-court season, brushing aside three-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray in the first round.The 14th-seeded posted a dominant 6-1 6-3 victory against world No.54 Murray in an 86-minute encounter. The World No.19 did not face a break point and conceded only 11 points in total across his service games.
With his 13th tour-level win of the season, the Australian has improved to 3-0 in his ATP Head-to-Head series against Murray, who was making his first appearance in the Principality since 2017. This was De Minaur’s first win since claiming the biggest title of his career at Acapulco in February and snapped a two-match losing streak.
De Minaur, whose best result at an ATP Masters 1000 event was a fourth-round run in Indian Wells last year, will next play Jan-Lennard Struff. The German moved past Spaniard Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-4, 6-3.
On the other hand, Former champion Stan Wawrinka earned a comeback victory against Tallon Griekspoor, when he overcame the Dutchman 5-7, 6-3, 6-4 to reach the second round.The Swiss player struck 35 winners and sealed victory on his sixth match point to advance after two hours and 25 minutes.
Wawrinka, who won the title in the Principality in 2014, has lifted seven of his 16 tour-level trophies on clay, including Roland Garros in 2015. He will next play eighth-seeded American Taylor Fritz.



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