Vienna, September 5, 2014
By reaching the fourth round at the U.S. Open in New York Dominic Thiem has climbed the next stage in his career. The 21-year-old Austrian made it into the last sixteen at a Grand Slam tournament for the very first time and next Tuesday he will appear inside the top 40 in the ATP World Rankings. The next major goal of the youngster is a good showing at the Erste Bank Open taking place in Vienna from 11 to 19 October 2014.
“It has already happened extremely much in my career in Vienna’s Stadthalle. Here I played my first ATP tournament in 2010 and I had a very emotional match against Thomas Muster in 2011. I also celebrated my first victory over a top-100 player in 2012 against Lukas Lacko. And when I think of the quarter-final match last year against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, I still get goose bumps today. The atmosphere in the packed hall was unbelievable. I would also like to get the same experience again this year. I will prepare myself perfectly for Vienna in order to achieve similar good results,” said Thiem.
Besides the youngster, Jürgen Melzer will carry the hopes of the local tennis fans at the 593.705,-€ ATP tournament. The Vienna-champion of 2009 and 2010, is heavily motivated after his injury-related loss in the previous year. “I won the tournament twice and always felt very comfortable in the arena. Vienna is always a highlight and this year will be no different,” said Melzer. Tournament director Herwig Straka is happy about the participation of both top-Austrian tennis players. “Erste Bank Open is built on two pillars – strong local heroes and international stars. Dominic Thiem and Jürgen Melzer have inspired the crowd in the Wiener Stadthalle in the past. With the support of the spectators the two can get deep in this year’s draw again.” With eight tournament champions of the current season (Feliciano Lopez / Eastbourne, Philipp Kohlschreiber / Düsseldorf, Lukas Rosol / Winston-Salem, Guillermo Garcia-López / Casablanca, David Goffin / Kitzbühel, Carlos Berlocq / Oeiras, Martin Klizan / Munich, Federico Delbonis / Sao Paulo) the Erste Bank Open can present a strong field.
“There will still come at least one another international star to Vienna, who will then be the first-seed. We are in contact with several top players, who are interested in showing-up in Vienna. Therefore, we have determined that only one wildcard will go to an Austrian. The other two wildcards are reserved,” said Straka.
What began in 1974 with the first tennis tournament in Vienna’s Stadthalle, has become an impressive success story in the Austrian sports scene. This anniversary of the Erste Bank Open, will also be celebrated as part of the openings on Monday. The spectators can enjoy ticket prices as 40 years ago to watch some legends, who gained the title in Vienna. US-American Brian Gottfried, with four victories (1977, 1980, 1982, 1983) record winner of the tournament will be honored on Centre Court as well as the German Michael Stich (winner 1991). ATP Executive Chairman Chris Kermode will also attend the ceremony. In the following, the match of the day will take place as start of the 2014 main draw.