KITZBÜHEL, July 28, 2019 (by Diemtar Kaspar)
Sunday’s qualifying action at the Generali Open in Kitzbühel was highlighted by a battle between World No. 247 Lucas Miedler and Argentine veteran Carlos Berlocq in the first match on Centre Court. The 23-year-old Austrian capitalized on three of his 12 break point chances and only dropped one service game to secure a 6-7, 7-5, 6-3 victory after three hours and 18 minutes.
In his first main draw appearance at the ATP 250 event in Tyrol on Tuesday, Miedler will face his countryman Sebastian Ofner, who enters the clay-court tournament with a wild card.
“Ofi and I know each other very well,” Miedler said. “I cannot say how many times we have played against each other. We also play doubles here. Having another duel between two Austrians is great.”
The winner of this encounter will meet top seed and home favourite Dominic Thiem in Wednesday’s night session. Tulln-born Miedler is seeking his first win in his third main draw match on the ATP Tour.
Qualifying’s top seed Hugo Dellien held off Austrian wild-card entry Sandro Kopp on Court Küchenmeister. After dropping the first set, the 26-year-old clay court-specialist from Bolivia came back to get the win after one hour and 49 minutes by the score of 4-6, 6-1, 6-2. Dellien, who won all of his eight previous ATP Tour matches on the red dirt, will oppose Roberto Carballes Baena from Spain on Monday.
19-year-old Kopp, who is coached by Hakan Dahlbo from the Estess Tennis Academy in Seefeld, appeared at tour- level for the first time.
No. 3 seed Matthias Bachinger emerged victorious from an all-German encounter on Court Riedel with 27-year-old Yannick Hanfmann, who entered the qualifying competition on position eight. Under the watchful eyes of their common coach Lukas Wolff from the TennisBase Oberhaching, 32-year-old Bachinger broke his opponent’s serve two times without losing a service game, to seal a 6-3, 6-4 win after 70 minutes. Bachinger will next take on defending Kitzbühel champion Martin Klizan from Slovakia on Monday.
Later in the day, Spanish veteran Guillermo Garcia-Lopez faced French young gun Elliot Benchetrit on Court Küchenmeister. Winning 78 per cent of his first service points, 36-year-old Garcia-Lopez sealed a 6-4, 7-6 victory after one hour and 36 minutes. The Kitzbühel champion of 2009 will meet Jozef Kovalik from Slovakia on Tuesday.
Monday’s first-round action will be headlined by the battle of the Austrian wild-card entries Dennis Novak and Jurij Rodionov. Play will start on Centre Court at 11 am.
Qualifying Photo Gallery (by Brigitte Urban):