KITZBÜHEL, August 3, 2018
They were the first to arrive in Kitzbühel and will be the last to leave the Tyrolean Alps. With Denis Istomin and Martin Klizan two qualifiers will compete in Saturday’s singles final of the Generali Open.
On another sunny day, Istomin defeated Nicolás Jarry of Chile 7-5, 6-7(4), 6-4. Appearing in his 12th career ATP World Tour semi-final and his first of the season, the 31-year-old from Uzbekistan sent down nine aces, winning 76 per cent of his first service points to secure victory in two hours and 36 minutes.
“This has been my first win on clay this season,” Istomin said. “This is not my favourite surface but the altitude here is good for my game. It helps me with my serve as well as with my groundstrokes. I feel good.”
The secret of his in Kitzbühel success, however, is a different one. “I like it here. The atmosphere is great. It’s a small city with nice restaurants and nice food. I had a Wiener Schnitzel almost every day.”
Istomin had to battle through the qualifying to reach his first title match since Chengdu in September last year. “I had six tough matches here. In the second round of the qualifying I was even match point down. I managed to come back and now I am in the final. Sometimes it just goes like this.”
Klizan edges past Munar
Later in the afternoon, Klizan beat #NextGenATP Spaniard Jaume Munar 7-6(3), 6-3. The 29-year-old from Slovakia, who captured the ATP Challenger title in Indian Wells earlier this season, saved six of the seven break points he faced, capitalizing on three of his own chances to advance one hour and 41 minutes.
“It was a very tough match and I am pretty tired right now,” Klizan said afterwards. “I had to play a lot of close matches, often finishing late in the evening. I maybe won the match because of my experience.”
Istomin and Klizan will meet for the fourth time with the World No. 95 from Uzbekistan leading 2-1 in head-to-head records. Their last encounter took place in Munich four years ago with the better ending for Klizan.
Photo Gallery (by Brigitte Urban & Florian Heer):