KITZBÜHEL, July 29, 2019 (by Dietmar Kaspar)
First-round action on Monday at the Generali Open in Kitzbühel was headlined by the spectacular win of German qualifier Matthias Bachinger against defending champion Martin Klizan from Slovakia. 32-year-old Bachinger fired 19 aces to secure a 7-6(5), 6-7(5), 7-6(4) victory
After clinching the tie-break of the first set, the Munich native took a 5-2 lead in the tie-break of the second but lost the next five points and the match went the distance. Bachinger missed one match point at 5-4 but eventually prevailed in the decider of the final set after two hours and 57 minutes.
„It hurts to lose the second set after such a comfortable lead in the tie-break. After taking a toilet break, I tried to enjoy the great atmosphere here and to play point by point. At the end I am so happy to win the match,” Bachinger was pleased afterwards.
The current World No. 125 will meet the winner of the encounter between Spanish No. 8 seed Pablo Carreno Busta and Casper Ruud from Norway.
Novak prevails in all-Austrian clash
Of special interest for the home crowd was the all-Austrian battle on Center Court when Dennis Novak, who is ranked World No. 119, was challenged by 20-year-old Jurij Rodionov. Both players entered the tournament by a wild card. After taking a quick 3-0 lead, Vienna-born Novak captured the first set by the score of 6:3. Breaking his left-handed rival’s serve at the score of 4-4, he finished the second set 6-4 to seal a straight sets victory in the rematch of last year’s first-round encounter at the same place.
„It was a pretty good performance. I benefited from the bad start of Jurij, staying solid on serve without facing a break point to get the first set“, Novak commented. „I missed a lot of chances in the fifth game of the second set to get the victory in an easier way.”
Novak, who is coached by Julian Knowle this week in Kitzbühel, will next face the tournament’s No.4 Pablo Cuevas from Uruguay.
Sonego survives marathon match
Earlier in the day, Centre Court action started with an epic battle between Italian No. 7 seed Lorenzo Sonego and 2016 Davis Cup champion Federico Delbonis from Argentina. 24-year-old Sonego saved eight match points and converted his first chance to finish the match by the score of 7-6(4), 6-7(4), 7-6(4) after three hours and 36 minutes. It was the second win for the Turin native in as meetings between the two. Sonego, who is currently ranked World No. 56, clinched his maiden trophy on the ATP Tour in Antalya last month after saving a championship point in the title match.
On Court Küchenmeister, World’s No. 76 Roberto Carballes Baena faced Bolivian qualifier Hugo Dellien. The 26-year-old Spaniard, who claimed his one and only singles title on the ATP Tour last year in Quito, outpointed his contemporary rival 80-77 to secure a 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 victory after one hour and 48 minutes and avenged his loss in Rio de Janeiro earlier this season. Granada resident Carballes Baena will oppose Sonego in the second round.
Home favourite Thiem talks to the press
Top seeded Dominic Thiem met the media in Kitzbühel and spoke about …
– his defeat in Hamburg against runner-up Andrey Rublev:
“My form is absolutely okay. I was a close match at good level. I was up a break two times, but I handed over control. Andrey earned the win because he played very well in the second set. Despite the defeat I will remain on course.“
– the comparison of the conditions in Hamburg and Kitzbühel:
„The conditions differ on a big scale. The courts and the balls are completely different and we have difference of about 700 meters in terms of altitude. I had a long practice session yesterday and I felt really good. I enjoy it very much to play in Kitzbühel situated above sea level.”
– playing against an Austrian in his opening match:
„I think my last match against a countryman was three years ago here in Kitzbühel versus Jürgen Melzer. It is always something special and it is very nice that this will happen in the second round of an ATP tournament.”
— ATP Tour (@ATP_Tour) July 29, 2019
Tuesday’s first-round action at the Generali Open is headlined by the clash of two-time Kitzbühel champion Philipp Kohlschreiber from Germany and former top-10 player Richard Gasquet from France. Of special interest for the home crowd will be the second all-Austrian battle between wild card entry Sebastian Ofner and qualifier Lucas Miedler. Play will start at 11 a.m.
Photo Gallery (by Brigitte Urban)