Dominic Thiem stood for more than two and a half hours on Monday in his opening match at the 2021 Australian Open against Michael Kokoshkin.
Especially in the first two hours of the match, the 33-year-old Kazakh gave the world number three a lot of resistance.
“It was a tough job,” Tim admitted in an interview with ServusTV after the match. “He definitely challenged me, but I also expected him that way.”
After all, Tim still lacks a bit of match training. In the ATP Cup last week, the Lower Austrian suffered a clear defeat by Italian Matteo Perrettini. On his second appearance, Frenchman Benoit Bayer injured after the first set.
“The ATP Cup was very tough, and it was not easy yet to prepare for the match against a top 10 player like Berettini.” ÖTV-Daviscupper, who now feels more comfortable with the first major of the year, explains, “He really pulled me off the field.
‘A little outrageous to him’
“I feel good. That’s why I also love these Grand Slam tournaments. Here you have more time to go in and find your game.”
Of course, the location of Melbourne has not changed compared to last week. The very rapid conditions in Melbourne Park this year still do not suit Lower Austria very much. Especially against Kukushkin, this was definitely a shame for him. “He loves the conditions, he plays very flat.”
“It’s a bit terrible to play against him in these circumstances.” Said Tim, who after leading 4-2 in the first set in a row at 4: 5 had to block a set ball before making the first round. A tiebreaker could decide on his own.
The first sentence was really important. Kukushkin plays really well, but he’s slightly poor in fitness. This is why I’ve tried to keep the gatherings for so long, “said Tim, revealing the game plan he had put in place.
‘First good game’
“It was fun because I hadn’t played it before. When I worked well, I ran into crazy well. I felt like he had more problems if I let him play a little bit. It took me a while to find my tactics for the match.”
In sum, it was “the first good Grand Slam tournament match”. “It was tough today and it’s nice to play a little longer so I can adapt better to the local conditions. I’m happy that I was able to fight my way and that I’m in the second round.”
Maso analyzes from a distance
There now Tim deals with German Dominic Kupfer, who also beat lucky losing Bolivian Hugo Dillen in three sentences. Lichtenwörther hasn’t yet played against this either.
Usually Chilean Nicolas Maso is responsible for analyzing opponents and developing tactics. As is known, Tim’s tour coach was not allowed to travel to Australia due to his infection with the Coronavirus. Therefore, discussions take place over the phone or with Father Wolfgang Thiem.
“Of course I miss him. Unfortunately he can’t be there this time. He knows opponents well and can prepare me well for them. But she also works well like that.”
Text: © LAOLA1.at
Austria was absent from Commander Marcus Suttner for several weeks
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