KITZBÜHEL, July 20, 2016
The Melzer siblings highlighted first round action on Tuesday at the Generali Open in Kitzbühel. Gerald Melzer rallied back from a set down to beat Albert Montanes 5-7, 7-5, 6-4. The world number 107 won 76% of his first service points and converted two of his 10 break point chances to prevail in two hours and 15 minutes.
“It has always been a dream for me to win an ATP match on Austrian soil. I put a lot of pressure on myself in the past but today I was absolutely relaxed. I really enjoyed the support from the fans and it was just fun to play out there. I think there is still space for improvement,” Gerald told afterwards, taking on Daniel Gimeno-Traver next.
“If I use my forehand properly and engage him on his backhand, he is a player who fits my game quite well,” he added.
New edition of the battle of the generations
His older brother Jürgen, who entered the main draw with a wild card, edged past Taro Daniel 6-4, 7-5. The 35-year-old from Vienna sent down four aces and won 52% of the total points played to set a second round clash with the tournament’s top seed Dominic Thiem on Wednesday.
“It was a real pleasure playing on Centre Court today. I had a good start, but got a bit tired in the first set. In the second set, I changed my tactics and was trying to move a bit faster towards the net.” Jürgen was pleased with his first match on tour-level since last year’s US-Open.
“Playing against Dominic next is incredible. Of course I will be the underdog. I will try to keep up with him but Dominic has almost no weaknesses on clay.”
The only previous match between the two took place in Kitzbühel 2013. Thiem emerged victorious in straight sets.
Thiem wins doubles and gets special surprise
The Austrian youngster celebrated a successful start into the tournament. Alongside his doubles partner and best friend Dennis Novak, the pair defeated Julian Knowle and Lukas Rosol 1-6, 6-7, 10-8 in one hour and 24 minutes.
Thiem also received a special suprise by his sponsor adidas. In the occasion of cracking the top 10, the current world number nine received a special tennis shoe in the design of his favourite football club Chelsea FC. The shoe is signed by his favourite player Kenedy.
“I had no idea. What a great surprise. I am really glad,” Thiem was happy.