Melzer Stuns Thiem In Kitzbuhel
Khachanov also upsets second seed Kohlschreiber on Wednesday
“As a sportsman, you need to believe in your chances to win. Today this chance was very little, but I tried hard to use it,” said Melzer. “I think I showed almost perfect tennis, which one needs to play when facing Dominic. I also used the advantage that he had all the pressure on him.”
Melzer’s last Top 10 win came in 2011 against Roger Federer in the quarter-finals of the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters. His victory over Thiem also puts him in his first ATP World Tour quarter-final since the Ricoh Open in June 2014.
The 35 year old, a wild card into this year’s tournament, is competing in just his second event since last year’s US Open. He was sidelined for nine months due to injury and underwent left shoulder surgery in November. Melzer played the first tournament of his comeback last month at the ATP Challenger Tour event in Poprad Tatry, Slovakia.
“I’ve been training very efficiently. Once you become 35 years old, you have some routines and this might have helped me as well,” said Melzer. “I still think there is some energy to bring out for the next matches, but for the moment, I’m just happy.”
His quarter-final opponent will be little brother Gerald Melzer, who reached his first ATP World Tour quarter-final of the year with a convincing win over Daniel Gimeno-Traver, 6-3, 6-1. The brothers have played once before, with Jurgen winning last year in the opening round of qualifying at Wimbledon.
“This has been one of my most valuable successes,” said Gerald. “I felt very confident from the beginning on, a little tired, but this helped me to stay extra calm and focused. I was there for all of his service games and he had problems returning mine.”
#NextGen star Karen Khachanov also reached his first ATP World Tour quarterfinal of the year on Wednesday at the Generali Open in Kitzbuhel, shocking second seed Philipp Kohlschreiber on Centre Court, 6-4, 6-4. Little separated the two players, with both winning 31 points in the second set. But it was Khachanov who grabbed the extra break of serve in each set and kept Kohlschreiber at bay in his service games by landing 76 per cent of his first serves.
This is Khachanov’s first ATP World Tour quarter-final since Moscow in October 2013. He has jumped nearly 50 spots this year in the Emirates ATP Rankings, currently sitting at No. 104.
Fourth seed Paolo Lorenzi opened up his campaign in style by recording an impressive second-round over Roberto Carballes Baena, 6-2, 6-2. The Italian was especially impressive in his return games, winning 48 per cent of total points compared to 33 per cent for Carballes Baena. Lorenzi also saved the lone break point against him in the match while breaking the Spaniard twice in each set. At age 34, Lorenzi is now at a career-high Emirates ATP Ranking of No. 48.
Awaiting in the quarter-finals for Lorenzi is eighth seed Jan-Lennard Struff, who survived a tight match against Daniel Munoz de la Nava, 7-5, 7-5. The German put consistent pressure on his opponent’s serve throughout the match, earning 11 break point chances and converting on four. Struff advanced to his first ATP World Tour quarter-final since Vienna in October 2014.