Top seed Thiem starts 2017 with a win

Dominic Thiem

Top seed Dominic Thiem is off and running at the Qatar Open, as he won his New Year’s Day match against Russia’s Evgeny Donskoy in straight sets.

The World No 5 did not have it all his own way in the match, however, with Donskoy making life particularly difficult for him during the 61-minute opening set.

But once the Austrian clinched the tie-break, he was able to ease to victory in the second set for a 7-6 (7-3), 6-3 victory.

Thiem, one of a handful of players hoping to kick on this year as the game’s traditional stars continue to battle injury and advancing age, fired more than 30 winners during the one-hour-and-39-minute contest.

The 24-year-old was installed as the tournament’s top seed following the withdrawal of Novak Djokovic, whose planned comeback was pushed back after a recurrence of his ongoing elbow injury.

Others to advance to the second round on Monday included Russian Andrey Rublev, Spaniard Fernando Verdasco and Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia.