VIENNA, October 24, 2016
One of two Austrian events on the ATP World Tour along with Kitzbühel, the Erste Bank Open 500 in Vienna is a 500 level tournament on the tennis circuit for a second year. The 2016 field is led by top seed and world number two Andy Murray, who captured the title in his only previous appearance two years ago.
Second favourite Tomas Berdych was in action on Day 1 of the main draw, getting upset by Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-4, 6-7, 7-5. The qualifier from Georgia converted four of his 10 break point opportunities to advance in two hours and 35 minutes. Basilashvili will take on Russian wild card Karen Khachanov in the second round. The #NextGen star and youngest player in the Vienna draw ousted Andreas Seppi 6-4, 6-4 in 69 minutes.
With Berdych’s defeat, there is new hope for eight players in the Top 20 Emirates ATP Race to London, who are in pursuit of the Czech, who holds the eighth and final spot for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals. Ahead of this week, Berdych leads David Goffin by 220 points.
The tournament’s number eight Ivo Karlovic, who hit 28 aces en route to the quarterfinals in Stockholm last week and surpassed 1,000 aces this season, hit 16 more during his 7-6, 6-3 victory over 2015 runner-up Steve Johnson from the United States. Karlovic closed the match in one hour and 20 minutes. He will next face Damir Dzumhur of Bosnia and Herzegovina, who beat Spaniard Nicolas Almagro 6-3, 5-7, 6-0 in one hour and 40 minutes.
John Isner now has also broken the 1,000 aces mark for the fourth time in his career after he had prevailed against Jan-Lennard Struff of Germany. The 31-year-old from the United States sent down 13 aces, winning 89 per cent of his first service points to seal victory in one hour and 55 minutes. Isner awaits the winner between the encounter of seventh seed Lucas Pouille from France and Spaniard Feliciano López.