VIENNA, October 22, 2018
The last of 13 ATP World Tour 500 tournaments take place this week in Vienna and Basel, where valuable ATP Ranking points are at stake for the ATP Race to London and Milan. There are three spots remaining for the Nitto ATP Finals and seven of the Top 8 seeds are in contention, led by No. 2 seed Kevin Anderson, who is No. 7 in the Race.
The 32-year-old from South Africa opened his title bid at the Erste Bank Open with a hard-fought victory over Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia. Anderson needed to save one match point, fired 25 aces, winning 79 per cent of his first service points to prevail after two hours and 12 minutes.
Next up for Anderson, who started the day with a backstage tour at the Vienna State Opera, will face Austrian veteran Jürgen Melzer, who edged out Milos Raonic of Canada 7-6(6), 7-5 in one hour and 38 minutes.
“I knew that I will have my chances,” said Melzer, who will end his career in singles after this tournament. “Milos didn’t have his best day. It wasn’t easy to read his serve but the longer the match lasted, I learnt that I was the better player today.”
— Lukas Zahrer (@ZaraLuk) 22. Oktober 2018
Coric, Fucsovics have to go the distance
Earlier on Monday, Borna Coric fought past Albert Ramos Vinolas of Spain 6-7(5), 6-0, 6-4. The sixth seed from Croatia outpointed his opponent 97-82 to advance in two hours and 29 minutes. Coric will next take on the winner of the match between Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany and Frenchman Lucas Pouille.
Marton Fucsovics rallied past Canadian wild card entry Félix Auger-Aliassime 1-6, 6-0, 7-5 to set a second round meeting with either Damir Dzumhur of Bosnia and Herzegovina or No. 7 seeded Italian Fabio Fognini. Russian lucky loser Andrey Rublev beat US-American qualifier Denis Kudla 7-6(3), 6-0 in 61 minutes. Rublev awaits the winner of the encounter between third favourite Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria or qualifier Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan.