MAUTHAUSEN, May 2, 2022 (by Dietmar Kaspar)
First-round action of the main draw and the finals of the qualifying took place on Monday at the inaugural DANUBE Upper Austria Open. The ATP-Challenger 100 event is hosted by the Danubis Tennis Centre in Mauthausen, a small market town situated in the East of Linz, Austria.
The field is led by two Top 100 players, who will start their title bid on Tuesday. Australian veteran John Millman, currently ranked World Nr. 79 and champion of the 2020 Astana Open, is taking on qualifier Nikolas Sanchez Izquierdo from Spain. Czech young gun and World No. 88 Jiri Lehecka will meet Tiomofey Skatov from Kazakhstan.
A new ATP Challenger Tour event is being held in Mauthausen 🇦🇹 this week.
The DANUBE Upper Austria Open offers a total prize money of €90,280 – the winner will earn 100 ATP Ranking points.
— TennisTourTalk (@TennisTourTalk) May 2, 2022
Two Austrian players advance
Austrian wild card entry Filip Misolic opened main draw action on Centre Court facing Blaz Rola from Slovenia. The World No. 311 won 78 per cent of his first-service points and gained three breaks more to succeed 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 in two hours.
“It was mentally and physically a very tough match with lots of ups and downs, but I kept my nerves in the deciding set to win the match,” the Graz native told Tennis TourTalk afterwards. “The backhand is my preferred shot, so it was an advantage for me, that he mostly directed his left-handed forehand into my backhand.”
After a rain delay of 90 minutes, Jurij Rodionov hurried into the next round. The 22-year-old Austrian dominated Slovakian veteran Lukas Lacko in 56 minutes. Left-handed Rodionov won 84 per cent of his first-service points and earned the only six breaks of the match to triumph 6-1, 6-0.
“I played a really good match from the beginning to the end, so I deserved the win. Thanks to the spectators for supporting me after the long rain delay,” the World No. 157 said after the match.
Two seeded players in action
Moldavian No. 5 seed Radu Albot had a quick opener into the tournament. The World No. 120 defeated Jozef Kovalik from the Czech Republic in 71 minutes. The Chisinau-born Albot didn’t face a break point and converted four of his own six break-point chances to seal a 6-4, 6-0 victory.
“I felt really good on the court and I could control my strikes, wherever I wanted. I recognized that he struggled a little bit and missed important balls, so I got the lead. I grew up on clay, so this surface is very familiar to me,” Albot commented about his match.
Altug Celikbilek from Turkey celebrated a comeback win. After dropping the first set followed by the rain delay, the 25-year-old benefited from the retirement of German No. 6 seed Mats Moraing at the score of 4-6, 6-3, 4-2.
Six players qualify for main draw
Local player Lucas Miedler was first up on Center Court against Benjamin Hassan from Lebanon. After two close sets, the 25-year-old Austrian prevailed 7-6(4), 7-5 after one hour and 50 minutes.
Fellow Austrian Sandro Kopp missed a spot in the main draw, as the 21-year-old lost against Nerman Fatic from Bosnia and Herzegovina 2-6, 6-1, 5-7 after two hours and 12 minutes.
Qualifying’s top seed Alexander Shevchenko of Russia, who is coached by Günter Bresnik, cruised past Matteo Viola from Italy 6-3, 6-0 in 71 minutes.
Other players, who advanced to the main draw include Matej Sabanov from Serbia, who benefited from the retirement of Fabian Marozsan from Hungary in the third set, as well as Spaniard Nikolas Sanchez Izquierdo and Mate Valkusz from Hungary after straight-set victories against Mats Rosenkranz from Germany and Lukas Klein from Slovakia repectively..
First Round – Main Draw
Filip Misolic (AUT) – Blaz Rola (SLO) 6-3, 4-6, 6-2
Radu Albot (MDA) – Jozef Kovalik (CZE) 6-4, 6-0
Jurij Rodionov (AUT) – Lukas Lacko (SVK) 6-1, 6-0
Altug Celikbilek (TUR) – Mats Moraing (GER) 4-6, 6-3, 4-2 ret.
Final Round – Qualifying
Lucas Miedler (AUT) – Benjamin Hassan (LIB) 7-6(4), 7-5
Nerman Fatic (BIH) – Sandro Kopp (AUT) 6-2, 1-6, 7-5
Mate Valkusz (HUN) – Lukas Klein 7-6(7), 6-1
Alexander Shevchenko – Matteo Viola (ITA) 6-3, 6-0
Nikolas Sanchez Izquierdo (ESP) – Mats Rosenkranz (GER) 7-6(4), 6-4
Matej Sabanov (SRB) – Fabian Maroszan (HUN) 3-6, 7-6(2), 4-1 ret.
The Danube Upper Austrian Open will continue on Tuesday. Play in Mauthausen will start at 10 a.m. local time.
For further information, please visit the tournament’s official website.