Thiem And Novak Delight Home Crowd In Vienna

Dennis Novak (photo: Brigitte Urban)

VIENNA, October 24, 2017

Austrians Dominic Thiem, Dennis Novak and Sebastian Ofner were in first-round action on Tuesday at the Erste Bank Open 500 in Vienna.

Thiem edged past #NextGenATP Russian Andrey Rublev 6-4, 6-3. The second seed won 85 per cent of his first service points and capitalized on four of his eight break point opportunieties to gain his 169th singles win of his career after one hour and 20 minutes. Thiem will next take on Richard Gasquet of France.

“Andrey is a very dangerous player to face in the first round,” Thiem told afterwards. “This was not my best performance today but I am very happy to get through. It always helps to play in such a great atmosphere in front of your home crowd. This was very positive for me.”

On the “NextGen Court” and in front of 1,500 spectators, Novak celebrated a 7-6, 7-5 victory against Italian lucky loser Thomas Fabbiano. The Austrian qualifier sent down eight aces and broke serve four times to prevail after one hour and 55 minutes.

“Amazing! This has been my biggest win in my career,” Novak was more than happy. “I also beat him in the qualifying and I was able to gain some confidence from that win but I also tried to improve my game.”

Next up for Novak will be Kyle Edmund. The British youngster beat Spanish veteran David Ferrer 6-2, 7-6.

Wild card entry Ofner fell in the opening round to Lucas Pouille. The 25-year-old Frenchman struck 10 aces, winning 91 per cent of his first service points to finish the encounter in one hour and 26 minutes. Pouille will next play Spanish qualifier Guillermo Garcia-López, who upset seventh seed and US Open runner-up Kevin Anderson from South Africa 6-4, 6-4 in one hour and 33 minutes.

Dimitrov, Cilic Qualify For Nitto ATP Finals

With Anderson and Sam Querrey losing in the first round in Vienna, Grigor Dimitrov and Marin Cilic have qualified for the Nitto ATP Finals in London, joining Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Alexander Zverev and Dominic Thiem. Two spots are left.