VIENNA, October 23, 2017
The last of 13 ATP World Tour 500 events takes place this week in Vienna and Basel, where pivotal points are the prize in the Emirates ATP Races to London and Milan.
Main draw action kicked off at the Erste Bank Open 500 on Monday with the tournament’s top seed Alexander Zverev fighting past Viktor Troicki of Serbia 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 inside the Stadthalle in Vienna. The 20-year-old German, who has qualified for both the Nitto ATP Finals and Next Gen ATP Finals, sent down eight aces, winning 70 per cent of his first service points to seal victory in one hour and 45 minutes.
“I feel comfortable here. The atmosphere is great with a lot of spectators attending the matches. I won two tournaments indoors. Of course I needed to get used to the conditions again, as I haven’t played indoors for some time. Starting against a strong opponent like Viktor is never easy,” Zverev told.
The World No. 5 from Germany will next take on Gilles Simon of France, who beat Latvian wild card entry Ernests Gulbis 6-3, 6-3.
“I played against Gilles three times and won all of the matches, but two of them ended in the tie-break of a third set. So it is going to be difficult again. There are no easy opponents, as it is a very competitive tournament here,” Zverev is looking forward to the second round clash.
Kohlschreiber Upsets Isner
Zverev will be joined in the next round by his compatriot Philipp Kohlschreiber, who knocked off the tournament’s number five John Isner from the United States 7-6, 6-4.
The 34-year-old German withstood 22 aces, breaking serve three times to prevail after one hour and 47 minutes.
“There were a couple of ups and downs in my game but I am very happy to be through,” Kohlschreiber was pleased afterwards. “The surface here seems to be pretty fair. I think it’s possible for every player to adapt to the conditions easily.”
Next up for Kohlschreiber will be French qualifier Pierre-Hugues Herbert, who beat Australian Bernard Tomic 7-6, 7-5 in one hour and 34 minutes.
Dimitrov Pulls Out
Third seed Grigor Dimitrov, who was granted a wild card into the main draw, was forced to pull out due to fatigue.
“I was really looking forward to playing in Vienna. However, I had some tough weeks in Asia as well as in Stockholm last week, so that I was physically not able to compete at highest level. I am disappointed but I would be glad to return to Vienna soon,” Dimitrov stated.
The Bulgarian will be replaced by Italian lucky loser Thomas Fabbiano to face Austrian qualifier Dennis Novak in the opening round.