KITZBÜHEL, August 1, 2018
Dominic Thiem was trying to become the first Austrian champion at the Generali Open since Thomas Muster in 1993. The top seed, however, lost his opening match on Wednesday afternoon to qualifier Martin Klizan 1-6, 6-1, 5-7 on a fully packed Centre Court in Kitzbühel.
Two unforced errors by Thiem in the 12th game of the final set led to two match points for the Slovakian. The World No. 8, who reached the final here on home soil in 2014, missed a drive volley on the second and Klizan secured victory in one hour and 58 minutes.
“Dominic is a big star here but that’s tennis,” Klizan apologized to the spectators during his on-court interview. “I think Dominic was a bit better but didn’t use his chances. So I am very happy to finish the match in the end. It was a great match, which will be good for my confidence. It’s a good sign that hard work after a couple of injuries is paying off.”
Klizan will next take on Dusan Lajovic. The eighth seeded Serbian beat Austrian wild card entry Dennis Novak 6-2, 6-4.
“The first set was really bad, but then I played better,” said Thiem. “Sets two and three were okay, but it’s very bitter for me. The atmosphere was great in the stadium today, there were some good rallies. It could have been a great start into the tournament, but losing it in the end is very disappointing.”
Former Kitzbühel champions crash out
No. 2 seed and defending champion Philipp Kohlschreiber also fell in his opening match. He lost 7-5, 3-6, 1-6 to Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan. The 31-year-old from Tashkent capitalized on five of his nine break point opportunities to prevail after two hours and nine minutes.
“It was a pretty crazy match,” Istomin commented. He will face another German in the quarterfinals, as Maximilian Marterer defeated Mikhail Kukushkin 6-3, 6-4.
With Robin Haase another former Kitzbühel champion lost on Wednesday. The No. 4 seed from the Netherlands was beaten by #NextGenATP Spaniard Jaume Munar 7-6(5), 6-4. The 21-year-old Mallorca native won 53 per cent of the total points played and finished the encounter in one hour and 35 minutes. Next up for Munar will be Taro Daniel of Japan.
Photo Gallery (by Brigitte Urban):