Dominic Thiem squandered a two-set lead suffering a five-set loss to Pablo Andujar in the first Roland Garros opening-round exit of his career.
The US Open champion’s exit not only opened up the draw for sixth-seeded Alexander Zverev, it created some stress in the German.
Zverev dropped the opening two sets to German qualifier Oscar Otte before rallying into the second round.
Afterward, Zverev conceded Thiem’s setback spiked his nerves at the outset.
“Yeah, to be very honest, I think it did have a little impact on me at the beginning of the match, because yes, you try to focus on yourself, you try to not pay too much attention, but you do know the draw,” Zverev said. “You know who is where. You know that Dominic is one of the best clay court players, especially here, one of the toughest opponents you can have, and then he’s out.
“So yes, it does affect you a little bit. But maybe that was part of the reason why I was a little bit nervous in the beginning was I started off a little bit slow.”
Zverev, who defeated Thiem en route to his second Mutua Madrid Open title earlier this month, said the pair shared a quality practice session yesterday. Today, both went the distance and only one survived.
“To be honest, me and Dominic, we practiced yesterday, we had an incredible practice,” Zverev said. “The way we were playing, the level was incredibly high, and he lost today.
“Matches and practices are still a little bit different. You still need the matches, you still need to get into the tournament.”
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