Tennis: Gasquet falls to lucky loser, Thiem through in Barcelona

Dominic Thiem of Austria hits the ball against Kyle Edmund of Britain during their first round match of the Barcelona Open.
Dominic Thiem of Austria hits the ball against Kyle Edmund of Britain during their first round match of the Barcelona Open.PHOTO: EPA

BARCELONA (AFP) - Richard Gasquet's return to court from appendix surgery was short-lived at the Barcelona Open on Tuesday (April 25) as the Frenchman lost 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7/3) to Japan's Yuichi Sugita.

The world number 91 lost in qualifying and was only handed a place in the main draw after compatriot Kei Nishikori's late withdrawal with a wrist injury.

But despite blowing three match points when serving for the match at 6-5 in the third set, Sugita regained his composure to edge a final set tie-break to make the third round.

Dominic Thiem is safely into the last 16 as the third highest seed left in the draw brushed aside Britain's Kyle Edmund 6-1, 6-4.

Australia's Bernard Tomic will be Andy Murray's opponent when the world number one gets his tournament underway on Wednesday after seeing off big-serving German Dustin Brown 7-5, 4-6, 6-2.

Another German had a better day though as 20-year-old eighth seed Alexander Zverev saw off clay court specialist Nicolas Almagro 7-6 (7/4), 4-6, 6-4.

Rafael Nadal also begins his quest for a 10th title in Barcelona on Wednesday against Renzo Olivo or Rogerio Dutra Silva.