Kevin Anderson, winner of the 2018 Erste Bank Open, advanced to the second round of this year’s tournament after a 2:44 hours long fight. The South African wore out local hero Dennis Novak in three sets, saving three match points in the progress. Anderson won 6-7(2), 6-4, 7-6(6)
The first set saw no breaks, but a strong Austrian in the tie-break, winning it easily 7-2. Anderson raised his game in the second, springing out to a two-break lead, before the Austrian battled back, but only got one of the two necessary rebreaks with Anderson taking the set 6-4.
Anderson had to call the physiotherapist several times but battled through the pain. The third set was nothing for the faint hearted. Novak was able to save no less but five break points and forced a tie-break which saw him already up 6-3. Anderson, facing three match points won the next five points to win the tie-break and the match and advance to the second round.
Coric and Rublev into round 2
Much less problems had Croatian Borna Coric. He beat Taylor Fritz from the USA soundly 6-4, 6-4. Similarily easy was the day for Andrey Rublev. The Russian shooting star steamrolled the Slovakian qualifier Norbert Gombos 6-3, 6-2.
French fan favorite Gael Monfils had to withdraw from his match against Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta due to an injury. Busta was leading 6-1, 2-0 when Monfils gave up.