Generali Open in Kitzbuhel is the first ATP tournament of the season on clay, gathering a solid field of players who will chase the trophy and 250 ATP points. The first round was completed on Wednesday, with eight players joining the second-round action on Thursday.
A qualifier Marc-Andrea Huesler took down the young Finn Emil Ruusuvuori 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 in two hours and nine minutes, earning the third ATP victory. Both players grabbed four breaks and stayed neck and neck until the end, with Emil winning one point more than the Swiss despite the loss.
From 3-1 down in the first set, Ruusuvuori shifted into a higher gear and rattled off five straight games to grab the opener 6-3. Marc-Andrea bounced back in set number two, serving well and securing a break in game four to open a 5-2 gap.
Emil broke back at love in the very last moment at 3-5, only to get broken again a few minutes later to hand the set to his opponent. They traded early breaks in the decider and served well in the remaining eight games on the fast clay court to set up a tie break where Marc-Andrea raced into a 5-0 lead, moving over the top in the ninth point to find himself in the second round.
Feliciano Lopez defeated Pierre-Hugues Herbert 6-4, 6-3 in an hour and 13 minutes, taking another step towards the 500th ATP victory. The Spanish veteran lost 14 points in ten service games, fending off both break points and stealing Herbert's serve once in each set to seal the deal in straight sets.
Lopez repelled a break point in the third game and grabbed a break at 5-4 to wrap up the opener before the tie break. Pierre-Hugues gave serve away in the second set's sixth game, saving a match point two games later. Serving for the victory, Lopez erased a break opportunity offered to the Frenchman at 5-3, sealing the deal and advancing into the last 16 in style.
A qualifier Federico Delbonis toppled Juan Ignacio Londero 6-4, 6-0 in 78 minutes, keeping his serve intact and earning four breaks from six chances to race over the finish line. From 4-4 in the first set, Delbonis grabbed eight consecutive games, dominating on both serve and return to make a winning start.
In the most extended encounter of the day, Jordan Thompson defeated John Millman 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 in two hours and 58 minutes. The younger Aussie led 5-3 in the decider before Millman bounced back, reaching the tie break where Thompson produced four mini-breaks to control the scoreboard and move over the top.
A qualifier Maximilian Marterer ousted Dennis Novak 7-6, 6-4, earning two breaks and serving well when it mattered the most to secure the first ATP win since Miami last year! The youngest player in the main draw, Jannik Sinner, sent the Kitzbuhel resident Philipp Kohlschreiber packing, earning a 6-3, 6-2 triumph in 63 minutes.
Jannik Sinner will challenge Fabio Fognini and Diego Schwartzman.
Following a heartbreaking loss to Karen Khachanov in New York last week, Jannik regained the form on clay, dropping 11 points in nine service games and suffering one break.
On the other hand, he stole half of the return points, converting four break opportunities to bring the victory home in style. A teenager held at love in the first game, repeating that two games later after a forehand winner for a 2-1 advantage.
Jannik clinched the first break in game six after a forehand error from Philipp, who pulled the break back a few minutes later to remain in touch. Staying focused, Sinner opened a 5-3 gap and sealed the opening set with an ace in game nine.
The youngster broke at love at the beginning of the second set with a return winner and cemented the advantage with a forehand drive-volley winner in game two. Philipp saved a break point that could have sent him 3-0 down before Jannik delivered the second break to open a 4-1 advantage.
The Italian held at love to move closer to victory, securing it with a forehand winner in game eight.