Vienna Main Draw Kicks Off

STARNBERG/VIENNA, October 26, 2020

The 46th edition of the Erste Bank Open is being held on its originally-scheduled dates despite an ATP Tour suspension of more than five months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The ATP 500 event has taken place every year since 1974 except 1975.

Six of the Top-10, 12 of the Top-20 and 20 of the Top-30 players in the ATP Rankings are competing in Vienna this week. The 32 players in the singles main draw, which kicked off on Monday, hail from 24 different countries.

Rublev earns 35th match win of the season 

Andrey Rublev seeks his third straight ATP 500 title after winning finals at Hamburg and St. Petersburg earlier this autumn. The 23-year-old Russian has also won two ATP 250 events in 2020, tying him with World No. 1 Novak Djokovic for the most titles this season.

Rublev, who is chasing his first Nitto ATP Finals qualification, opened his campaign in Austria’s capital city with a 6-3, 6-2 win over qualifier Norbert Gombos from Slovakia.

The No. 5 seed fired 11 aces and won 81 per cent of his first-service points to advance in exactly one hour of play.

“I am really happy to be back in Vienna, competing in a tournament with such a great history. The start will give me confidence. I was playing better and better and I finished the match with a good level,” said Rublev, who reached the quarterfinals here last year. The Moscow native will next take on the winner of the battle of the young guns between Italian wild card entry Jannik Sinner and Casper Ruud from Norway.

Rodionov upsets Shapovalov

Later in the evening, Jurij Rodionov delighted his home crowd by knocking out No. 8 seed Denis Shapovalov of Canada 6-4, 7-5. The 21-year-old Austrian wild card won 56 per cent of the total points played to secure victory in one hour and 27 minutes.

“It was a very emotional win for me. I have already beaten players from the Top 50, but there is still a big difference to the Top 15,” Rodionov said. “I am amazed that I won today and that I was at the same level as Denis in terms of both play and mentality. That shows me that my journey could go very far. This tournament is a great opportunity for me to see how the other players are practicing and what they are doing differently than me. I have also been able to train with Daniil Medvedev and Dominic, these are very important experiences for me.”

Up next for Rodionov will be either Slovenian qualifier Aljaz Bedene or Briton Dan Evans.

Vienna Notes

* No. 7 seed Gael Monfils from France was forced to retire in his match against Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta trailing 1-6, 0-2 due to a neck injury. Carreno Busta will next play Kevin Anderson from South Africa.

* Defending champion and home favourite Dominic Thiem will step into action on Tuesday taking on lucky loser Vitaliy Sachko from the Ukraine. The 23-year-old World No. 523, who is replacing Japanese Kei Nishikori, will make his debut on the ATP Tour.