French Open runner-up Dominic Thiem began his grasscourt season with a convincing 7-6(5) 6-2 victory over Russian Mikhail Youzhny in the opening round of the Halle Open on Monday.
Thiem, seeded third, failed to serve out the opening set at 5-4 but won the final three points in the tiebreak, before taking control of the match in the second set.
The 24-year-old Austrian finished with 19 aces and converted three break points to collect his 36th match win of the season.
Thiem is set to make his fifth consecutive appearance at Wimbledon next month but has never got beyond the fourth round.
However, he will be looking to improve that record on the back of his maiden Grand Slam final appearance at Roland Garros.
Thiem will next face Japan’s Yuichi Sugita, who beat German wildcard Maximilian Marterer 6-4 5-7 6-3.