The round of 32 did not disappoint on Tuesday at the Winston-Salem Open.
Fans were left wanting after a rain delay canceled the clash of Richard Gasquet and 5 seeded Lorenzo Musetti on Monday night. Luckily both players came to Winston-Salem to put on a show and a three-set battle ensued.
It was veteran Richard Gasquet who outlasted the Italian youngster 7-5(5), 4-6, 6-1, relying heavily on his first serve, winning more than 70% of those points.
“I had to win free points, especially with the heat. I had to save myself a bit, and I could do [that] with good serves.”
The 36-year-old Frenchman is not the only veteran headed to the round of 16. American Steve Johnson claimed victory over no. 12 seed Pedro Martinez with a final score of 7-6(2), 6-2.
This victory sets Johnson and Gasquet up for their fourth meeting, a head-to-head Gasquet leads 2-1. Since their last battle in 2016, both players have had storied careers with several accolades.
Winning at the Winston-Salem Open is certainly not unfamiliar to defending champion Ilya Ivashka.
“So far the best memories of my career are here, so I was a bit nervous for the first match but I think I did great.”
It was a dominating serving performance that helped Ivashka remain undefeated on the hard courts at the Wake Forest University Tennis Complex with a routine 6-4, 6-2 win over Germany’s Peter Gojowczyk in just over an hour.
Also undefeated in 2022 at the Winston-Salem Open is Dominic Thiem.
After a post-midnight round one win over American J.J. Wolf last night, Thiem’s prize was a round of 32 round matchup against no. 1 seed Grigor Dimitrov who showed no mercy, quickly handing Dominic a first set bagel (6-0).
Thiem, not quite ready to pack his bags for New York, gathered momentum in the second set and took the lead 4-2.
His comeback would not be conventional, though. Dizziness forced Dimitrov to retire within 10 minutes of calling the trainer to court.
In his post-match interview Thiem praised his opponent, wishing him health and a quick recovery for the U.S. Open.
“That’s obviously not the way I want to win the match, especially against him, he’s such a great guy, such a great player.”
Thiem did find a silver lining in today’s win. After a long recovery period due to wrist injury, he’s back playing on hard courts in the U.S. where he won his last hard court title at the 2020 U.S. Open
“That’s probably the only good and positive thing today, that I’m able to play another match tomorrow.”
Wednesday’s play starts at 3pm. Headline matches on Stadium court include matchups between Johnson and Gasquet, Thiem and Draper and Ivashka versus Huesler. Gates open at 2pm.