KITZBÜHEL, July 21, 2016
Centre Court in Kitzbühel was sold out for the second day in a row when the Melzer brothers collided on quarterfinals Thursday of the Generali Open. In front of 5,800 spectators it was Gerald, who emerged victorious, winning 3-6, 6-3, 6-1 over Jürgen.
In a rain interrupted encounter, the younger one won 62% of his first service points and converted five of his eight break point chances to prevail in one hour and 43 minutes.
“It was very difficult for both of us. It’s hard to face somebody you love that much because you don’t want to hurt that person. Winning points just doesn’t feel right,” said Gerald. “I might have been lucky with the rain break as the court became a bit slower. I was able to make returns that I didn’t make in the first set and a half. Then we got more into rallies and that’s when I felt way more comfortable.”
Gerald will take on Paolo Lorenzi, who battled past Jan-Lennard Struff, winning 6-2, 6-7, 7-5. The 34-year-old Italian sent down 10 aces but missed two match points in the 12th game of the second set and the encounter went the distance. After three hours and eight minutes, Lorenzi eventually converted his fifth chance to close the match out.
“I am happy now. I love the fight. I do not care about the time spending on the court. I practice every day for battles like that. The only important thing was to win and to be ready for tomorrow,” Lorenzi told afterwards.
Lorenzi advanced to his second semi-final of the season, after losing to Thomaz Bellucci at the elevation in Quito.
“I enjoy playing in the altitude. I also won the €125,000 Challenger in Caltanissetta, which is located 800m above sea level. We will see how it is going tomorrow.”
Lorenzi and Melzer will meet for the fifth time with the head to head record tied at 2-2. The last encounter took place in the final of the ATP Challenger in Bucaramanga with the Austrian winning in straight sets.
“Paolo knows what’s coming, I know what’s coming. It will get physical tomorrow,” said Melzer. “He is a really tough opponent. He doesn’t give you much, but I think I have a game that can hurt him so I am looking forward to tomorrow. I am going to give my best. That’s all I can do.”
In the second semi-final, sixth seed Dusan Lajovic will take on Nikoloz Basilashvili. The 26-year-old from Serbia downed Karen Khachanov 6-3, 6-2 in 70 minutes. The world number 123 from Georgia fought past fellow first-time quarterfinalist Adam Pavlasek, rallying 5-7, 7-6, 6-3. Basilashvili, who captured two ATP Challenger titles this season in Guangzhou and Heilbronn this year, advanced to the stage of the final four in one hour and 56 minutes.