ATP 250 event in Kitzbuhel should be the third ATP tournament after the coronavirus outbreak, and the first in Europe. The players will restart the action in New York, with Cincinnati and the US Open staged at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, under tight health rules and measures.
The second Major of the season is scheduled between August 31 and September 13, with Kitzbuhel gathering their list of players at the same time as the second week of the US Open. After such a long break and no official tennis for almost six months, we should expect many surprising results in New York, and possible early exits of the favorites.
Ten top-20 players are on the entry list for Kitzbuhel, hoping to skip the event in Austria after reaching the second week at the US Open. Dominic Thiem, Matteo Berrettini, Fabio Fognini (will not play the US Open), Roberto Bautista Agut, Diego Schwartzman are the leaders of the pack at the moment, with world no.
7 Alexander Zverev signing in the very last moment to make the field even stronger. After a terrible start at the ATP Cup, Zverev bounced back to reach the semis at the Australian Open, playing his last tournament before the coronavirus outbreak in Acapulco.
Thiem is the defending champion, becoming the first home champion since Thomas Muster in 1993. Dominic defeated Sebastian Ofner, Pablo Andujar, Lorenzo Sonego and Albert Ramos-Vinolas for the 14th ATP title in a career, becoming the third player in 2019 with three ATP titles after Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer on August 3.
In the title clash, Dominic took down an in-form Spaniard Albert Ramos-Vinolas 7-6, 6-1 in an hour and 38 minutes, earning the second straight win over the more experienced rival who claimed the title a week earlier in Gstaad, hoping for another one in similar conditions in Austria.
Both players had their chances in the opening four games, with Ramos-Vinolas fending off two break points in the first game and wasting five opportunities on the return at 2-1, failing to move in front and gain the momentum.
Ten of the world's top-20 players are on Kitzbuhel entry list.
Dominic embraced some bold hitting to overcome this obstacle, bringing the game home with a forehand down the line winner and staying neck and neck with Ramos-Vinolas until game nine.
The rain halted the action for more than an hour, and Dominic served well once they returned to set up a tie break that he claimed 7-0 with a booming forehand down the line winner, gathering a massive boost and giving the crowd something to cheer about.
A smash winner earned the opening game for Dominic in set number two, breaking Albert in the next one after a forehand error from the Spaniard and opening a 3-0 advantage with another strong attack to move closer to the finish line.
A left-hander netted another forehand in game six to suffer a break, allowing Thiem to seal the deal a few minutes later, hitting a service winner to cross the finish line and celebrate the first title in front of the home fans.