As the match moved deep into the fifth set, it became more about mental fortitude than technical skill. Zverev fought through nerves by moving forward and was rewarded by breaking Thiem at 4-3 with an aggressive forehand.
Meanwhie, Xiralijan Muhtar, also a member of the Chinese national squad, announced his move to Nanjing Monkey Kings.
The side from Pamplona produced a disciplined display and took the points with a 10th minute goal from Adrian Lopez and a 79th minute goal from Ruben Suarez.
The visitors pressed frenetically for a goal and were rewarded in the 23rd minute when Dodi Lukebakio nodded home a corner kick from close range to halve the deficit.
Stage One involves 32 groups of four players, with the player who tops each group progressing to Stage Two.
Eight minutes after the halftime break, the Brazilian's through ball found Fei Nanduo in the middle of the box, who fired a powerful shot to double the lead for Guangzhou.
Huesca sprang a minor surprise on their return to the top-flight as they took a point away at Villarreal.
"It was all a bit of daze," said Hamilton, who also took home the bonus point for fastest lap. "It was like three races in one day. Just incredibly tough. This track is phenomenal and keeping Valtteri behind was not easy. [With] all those restarts, total focus was needed. My heart is racing. It is crazy to be here and to have 90 Grand Prix wins."
Lower league side Havelse broke the deadlock through Noah Plume with 17 minutes played. Mainz were unable to overcome Havelse's well-positioned defence in the first 45 minutes but the momentum on the pitch changed after the restart, and by courtesy of Jean-Philippe Mateta, who provided a second-half hat-trick for a 5-1 victory. Enditem
International table tennis activity has been suspended for several months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The fact that those results can be seen as positive shows how far United have fallen since their glory days but the arrival of Donny van de Beek from Ajax should add further depth and control to Solskjaer's midfield, while Mason Greenwood's rapid progress alongside Anthony Martial and Marcos Rashford in attack, means they will be tough to defend against even if doubts remain about United's own back line.