KITZBÜHEL, July 19, 2016
The Generali Open kicked off on Monday with five matches of the main draw. The only seed in action was the tournament’s number seven Inigo Cervantes, who fell to fellow Spaniard Daniel Gimeno-Traver 4-6, 4-6.
The 30-year-old from Valencia battled through the qualifying and won 82% of his first service points to prevail in one hour and 15 minutes. Gimeno-Traver will next play either Albert Montanes or Gerald Melzer.
NextGen star Karen Khachanov set a second round clash with the tournament’s number two and reigning champion Philipp Kohlschreiber. The 20-year-old Russian eased past Italian qualifier Filippo Volandri, winning 6-2, 6-4 in 69 minutes.
“I think in some moments I wasn’t really focused, that’s why at the beginning of the first set I lost my serve,” said Khachanov. “Then in the second set it was the same. So I didn’t play maybe the way I wanted to, but in the end the most important thing is to win, and I’m happy to go through.
“I’m enjoying the tournament so much, it’s such a nice view here. It’s amazing to be in this event. It’s well organised, the hotel, the club. It has a big history, this tournament, so I’m really happy to be here.”
All eyes on Thiem
Top seed and local hero Dominic Thiem is leading the way in Kitzbühel. The Austrian youngster was runner-up two years ago and awaits the winner of the match between Jürgen Melzer and Taro Daniel.
“I have a big goal here and I hope that I can achieve it. I have always said that I want to win the title here in Kitzbühel for at least one time in my career,” the world number nine pointed out in his first press conference on Sunday.
Thiem was forced to withdraw from the German Open in Hamburg last week due to illness but is fit again.
“I have arrived here with a great feeling. I am full of anticipation to play here, even more than in the past when I was still a bit nervous. But I have already played a lot of matches on the ATP World Tour and I know what to expect. Being ranked inside the top 10 is simply fabulous. I want to keep up my level of play and hope to collect some more points in Kitzbühel this year.”
Thiem will start his title bid on Wednesday. He obviously prefers to play an all-Austrian-encounter.
“I would be pleased to play against Jürgen. It’s good to see him fit again and that his shoulder is strong enough for five set-matches. He is very important for the tennis in Austria.”
Thiem will also show up in the doubles competition alongside his partner Dennis Novak. The pair will take on Julian Knowle and Lukas Rosol on Tuesday.
“I am really looking forward to the doubles. This will be very special. Dennis and I are best friends. It has always been a dream for us to team up together at the highest level. Dennis is a fantastic player and I hope that he will have the chance to enter the main draw directly here next year.”