ERSTE BANK OPEN
Former Champions Haas, Petzschner Reach Second Round; Muster Bows Out
by ATP Staff|
Former World No. 2 Tommy Haas, who lifted the Erste Bank Open title 10 years ago, battled past fifth-seeded Argentine Juan Ignacio Chela 6-7(3), 6-3, 7-6(5) in two hours and 33 minutes on Tuesday. The German qualified for this year's ATP World Tour 250 indoor tournament, where he has an 18-7 mark.
"Coming through the qualifying helped me probably pull off that match today," said Haas. "It was very, very tight till the end... Even the tie-break I was up 6-2, then finally put it away at 6-5. Great feeling. These are the kind of moments that you work hard for and try to get back to. It would’ve been a heartbreak loss, but it’s a great feeling to win one of those."
Haas, who last beat Chela in May 2002 at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia, won 70 per cent of his service points and hit 10 aces in his first main draw match in Vienna in five years.
"It is indoor tennis, it’s a little bit faster, but I’m playing some good players and especially the win over Chela is going to give me some confidence hopefully for the next months to come and I’m just going to keep building up from here," he said.
In an all-Austrian opener, 18-year-old Dominic Thiem earned his first tour-level win by defeating 44-year-old Thomas Muster 6-2, 6-3 in 63 minutes. Thiem converted on five of his six break points against the former World No. 1.
"He’s done very well," said Muster. "He came out firing and played very well. He’s an upcoming player from Austria. He’s very young and ambitious, all the best to him."
Muster, a winner of 44 titles during his prolific career, was playing his final tournament on the ATP World Tour.
German qualifier Daniel Brands recorded just his second match win of the season when he hit 14 aces past Martin Fischer, an Austrian wild card, for a 6-7(3), 6-2, 7-6(6) victory in two hours and 25 minutes. Brands saved eight of nine break points and will next meet fourth-seeded Czech Radek Stepanek.
Spaniard Guillermo Garcia-Lopez defeated American James Blake 6-2, 5-7, 6-4 in their first meeting since 2005 at Stockholm. Garcia-Lopez won four straight games to build a 4-1 lead in the third set. Though Blake recovered one break of serve, the Spaniard held on to close out the one hour, 45-minute victory.
"To beat a really good player like James Blake you have to be happy," said Garcia-Lopez. "He’s a really good player, talented, and of course I’m really happy to have a good start here in Vienna. I feel like I played really solid from the baseline."
The World No. 68, who had gone winless in his three previous visits to Vienna, next confronts two-time defending champion Jurgen Melzer of Austria. "It’s going to be really tough," he said. "He plays really good here on indoor courts. He’s going to be really focused to win. He won the last two years, so we’ll see. I’ll try my best to beat him."
Ivo Karlovic, the 32-year-old Croatian, was forced to retire due to a back injury after he lost the first set to Slovenian qualifier Aljaz Bedane 7-6(4) in 64 minutes.