KITZBÜHEL, July 21 ,2016
The top three of the Generali Open fell on Wednesday in Kitzbühel. In front of fully packed stands on centre court, wild card Jürgen Melzer, who appears in his first ATP event since the US-Open last year, knocked out the tournament’s number one Dominic Thiem, winning 6-3, 7-5.
The 35-year-old Austrian, who lost to his compatriot here in 2013, saved all three break points he faced, converting two of his own to seal victory in one hour and 17 minutes.
“As a sportsman, you need to believe in your chances to win. Today this chance was very little, but I tried hard to use it,” said Melzer. “I think I showed almost perfect tennis, which one needs to play when facing Dominic. I also used the advantage that he had all the pressure on him.”
Melzer played the first tournament of his comeback last month with the qualifying at the ATP Challenger event in Poprad Tatry. Last weekend, he represented Austria in the Davis Cup tie against the Ukraine, winning his rubber against Illya Marchenko in five sets.
“I’ve been training very efficiently. Once you become 35 years old, you have some routines and this might have helped me as well. I still think there is some energy to bring out for the next matches, but for the moment, I’m just happy,” Melzer told.
After Jürgen’s first win against a top 10 player in more than five years, he will next play his brother Gerald Melzer. The 26-year-old ousted Spanish qualifier Daniel Gimeno-Traver 6-3, 6-1 in one hour and 14 minutes. Jürgen won the only previous encounter between the two in the opening round of the 2015 Wimbledon qualifying.
“This has been one of my most valuable successes,” said Gerald. “I felt very confident from the beginning on, a little tired, but this helped me to stay extra calm and focused. I was there for all of his service games and he had problems returning mine.”
NextGen star Karen Khachanov upset second seed Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-4 ,6-4. The 20-year-old from Russia sent down three aces, winning 76% of his first service points to advance to his second career quarterfinal since Moscow 2013. Khachanov will face sixth favourite Dusan Lajovic, who beat Mischa Zverev 6-4, 6-4.
Fourth seed Paolo Lorenzi prevailed with a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Roberto Carballés-Baena to take on the tournament’s number eight Jan-Lennard Struff next. The German overcame Daniel Munoz de la Nava 7-5, 7-5. Adam Pavlasek also advanced to the stage of the final eight, taking out third seed Marcel Granollers 6-2, 6-4. The youngster from the Czech Republic will next play Nikoloz Basilashvili, who fought past Igor Sijsling 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 in one hour and 40 minutes.
Kitzbühel Sold out
For the first time since the tournaments best years, whwn having Thomas Muster in the Kitzbühel line-up, the organizers announced that tickets were sold out. 5,800 spectators followed the matches on centre court on Wednesday.
“That’s what the Austrians deserved,” tournament director Alexander Antonitsch was happy. There are still some tickets for the final weekend available.