“I was happy with the way I was fighting, because it wasn’t easy to play him,” said Thiem in an on-court interview. “The courts are very different this year, the court seemed to be slow inside (on Louis Armstrong stadium). It was a little bit windy, but we had some good rallies. I felt I was playing good. I played a good tie-break, which was pretty comfortable, then I’m sorry for what has happened.”
Thiem, who suffered a shock first-round exit at the recent Western & Southern Open, can further strengthen his position at No. 3 in the FedEx ATP Rankings with a deep run, as he has just 10 points to defend.
Thiem, who now has a 4-0 record against Munar in their ATP Head2Head series, took early control of the match, breaking in the fifth game. But Munar dug deep to take a 6-5 advantage, prior to Thiem playing superbly in the tie-break and taking a 2-0 lead in the second set. While Munar recovered, a slip on the baseline midway through the second set proved to be critical. From 3-3, Thiem won 12 of the next 15 points, and closed out a two sets lead with his ninth ace – one of 33 winners in the one-hour and 55-minute encounter.
World No. 3 Thiem, runner-up at three major championships (2018-19 Roland Garros and 2020 Australian Open), is now 10-5 on the season. He will now face Indian Sumit Nagal, who recorded his first match win at a Grand Slam with a 6-1, 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 victory over Bradley Klahn.
Later in the afternoon on day two, Marin Cilic, the 2014 US Open champion, completed his eighth comeback from 0-2 sets down. The No. 31 seed battled past American Denis Kudla 6-7(3), 3-6, 7-5, 7-5, 6-3, to bounce back from a first-round exit last week at the Western & Southern Open.