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Miloslav Mecir Following In Father's Footsteps In Vienna

Vienna, Austria

Mecir© e|motion/zolles.comMiloslav Mecir is making his ATP World Tour debut in Vienna this week.

You may have spotted a familiar name from the past in the Erste Bank Open singles draw this week.

Miloslav Mecir Sr. is remembered for having won the 1988 Olympic singles gold medal, reaching the 1986 US Open and 1989 Australian Open finals and rising to No. 4 in the Emirates ATP Rankings (7 March 1988).

But this week 'The Big Cat's' son, Miloslav Mecir, who is earning headlines on his ATP World Tour debut in Vienna. Having beaten Pablo Andujar 6-4, 6-4 in the first round, the 25 year old will next challenge Tommy Haas on Thursday.

“Making my ATP World Tour debut has been amazing,” Mecir told ATPWorldTour.com. “I am really looking forward to my match with Tommy. I hope to do well. I have played on Centre Courts before, but never in front of a lot of people.”

Mecir’s victory marks the second time this year that a son of a former Top 10 player has won an ATP World Tour match. In July, Emilio Gomez, son of former World No. 4 and 1990 Roland Garros champion Andres Gomez, won his first match in Claro Open Colombia in Bogota.

Mecir admitted, “I didn’t think that this dream to come true as two years ago I thought about quitting tennis.”

After four years as a pro, Mecir got injured. “I had inflammation of the elbow ligaments and I did not play for four months.

“I practised hard for one year and then last year I started an IT course at college. I am now in my second year, but I continue to play as I knew my money from tennis could help put me through college.

“I found a good programme that requires me to only go in once every two weeks and do the exams. I have to study on my own, but when I am home I try to attend lectures during the day.

“When I was injured, I thought it was a good idea to not only play tennis, but also use my mind.”

Mecir grew up on tennis courts and “used to like how Marat Safin and Pete Sampras played”. When his father coached Karol Kucera, he travelled to tournaments.

“I always wanted to be better than my Dad,” said Mecir.

'The Big Cat' was renowned for his silky movement and style. His son admits, “I have been told that I have a pretty similar playing style to my father.

“I can adjust my style dependent on who I play. I can take the ball early, especially on hard courts, and I also have the ability to finish points without my opponent making a mistake.”

During his career, Bratislava-based Mecir has compiled a 25-38 record on the ATP Challenger Tour and won six ITF Futures titles from 13 finals. He is currently No. 240 in the Emirates ATP Rankings.

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