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Thiem Prevails, Faces Vesely Next In Kitzbühel

Kitzbühel, Austria

Thiem© GEPA/Hans OsterauerDominic Thiem celebrates his first-round win.

Top Austrian Dominic Thiem fought through his first-round match on Monday at the bet-at-home Cup Kitzbühel

The fifth seed prevailed against Brazilian Joao Souza 7-6(4), 3-6, 7-5 after two hours and 40 minutes, despite winning 98 points to his opponent's 112. Both player broke serve five times.

The 20-year-old Thiem, who advanced to his first ATP World Tour quarter-final last year in Kitzbühel, broke through to reach a career-high No. 47 last week and is currently the youngest player in the Top 50 of the Emirates ATP Rankings.

He will next face another young gun, 21-year-old Jiri Vesely, whom he defeated in straight sets two weeks ago in Hamburg. Vesely, named the 2013 ATP Star of Tomorrow presented by Emirates, snapped a four-match losing streak as he defeated German Jan-Lennard Struff 6-4, 6-4.

Qualifier Maximo Gonzalez beat a Top 60-ranked opponent for the first time in 11 months. He saved two match points at 4-5, 15/40 in the third set to knock out eighth seed Pablo Carreno Busta, who is ranked a career-high No. 55 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, 6-3, 4-6, 7-5 in two hours and 30 minutes. His previous Top 60 win came in August 2013, when he defeated No. 14-ranked Jerzy Janowicz in the US Open first round.

The 31-year-old Gonzalez, a winner of three ATP Challenger Tour titles in 2014, will next play Albert Ramos-Vinolas in the second round. Ramos-Vinolas beat fellow qualifier Viktor Galovic 6-7(5), 7-5, 6-2, also in two hours and 30 minutes. 

Pere Riba started his second appearance in Kitzbühel with a victory, withstanding 14 aces from Dustin Brown for a 7-6(5), 7-5 win. He now plays fourth seed Andreas Seppi. Andreas Haider-Maurer lost the opening two games, but overcame fellow Austrian and wild card Gerald Melzer 6-2, 7-6(1) for a second-round meeting against third seed Lukas Rosol

Philipp Kohlschreiber, defending champion Marcel Granollers, Seppi and two-time former titlist Robin Haase will all compete at the ATP World Tour 250 clay-court tournament later this week.

Melzer Brothers Team Up
Rosol, EmmrichJurgen Melzer and younger brother Gerald Melzer closed out a 6-4, 2-6, 10-4 win over Tomasz Bednarek and Teymuraz Gabashvili in first-round doubles action. The Austrian brothers also reached the quarter-finals last year in Kitzbühel.

They will next face No. 3 seeds Lukas Rosol and Martin Emmrich (pictured right), who made their partnership debut by defeating wild cards Thomas Pichl and Andreas Seppi 6-2, 6-2. Rosol won the Umag title on Sunday with Frantisek Cermak.

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