Viktor Troicki made the most of his return to tennis after serving a one-year ban as the Serb defeated Austria’s Dominic Thiem 7-6 (7/4), 6-4 on Monday in the first round of the Swiss Open.
Troicki took down eighth seed Thiem, tipped as a name of the future, with the win helping to boost the Serb’s confidence after being granted a wildcard entry after seeing his ranking plummet following his suspension.
Troicki, now 847th in the world, received a 12-month ban for delaying a mandatory blood test at Monte Carlo in April last year by a day, saying he felt ill. Despite having blood drawn a day later, he was banned for a year.
“It was very emotional, very strange for me,” Troicki said. “I want to thank the organizers for this wildcard, which means a lot to me. This past year was the toughest of my life.”
Argentine fifth seed Federico Delbonis began with a victory on a day where play was delayed by rain, beating German Dustin Brown 6-3, 6-3.
Argentine Juan Monaco put out Victor Hanescu 6-4, 7-5, while Kazakh Andrey Golubev advanced over Spain’s Inigo Cervantes 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7/4).
AFP, ATLANTA, Georgia
Israel’s Dudi Sela and the US’ Sam Querrey advanced to the second round of the ATP Atlanta Open with victories on Monday, while French third seed Gael Monfils withdrew from the event.
Sela ousted the US’ Donald Young 6-3, 6-0, while Querrey blasted 20 aces in eliminating countryman Steve Johnson 7-6 (7/3), 7-5 in the US$568,000 hardcourt event, an early warm-up tournament for the US Open.
AP, UMAG, Croatia
Pablo Carreno Busta saved two match points to defeat Italy’s Paolo Lorenzi 4-6, 6-1, 7-5 and reach the second round of the Croatia Open on Monday.
Lorenzi won the first set and got an early break in the second, but the 57th-ranked Carreno Busta then won six straight games to level. The Italian broke again in the third set and led 5-3, before his Spanish opponent rallied to win the match.
Croatia’s Borna Coric upset seventh-seeded Edouard Roger-Vasselin of France 6-2, 6-4 for his first ever ATP-level victory.
“It was one of the best matches I have ever played,” the 17-year-old Coric said. “I still don’t know what happened, I served so well.”
Fabio Fognini is the top-seeded player, followed by Tommy Robredo and Marin Cilic. They all have first-round byes.