One of the top favorites on the title at this year’s Erste Bank Open 500 only advanced after a hard fight to the next round: Kevin Anderson (RSA/2) had to save a match point in the second set tie-break against Nikoloz Basilashvili from Georgia to get through to the next round, winning 4-6, 7-6(6), 6-3.
The fans of the Erste Bank Open 500 were treated to some high-class matches in the Wiener Stadthalle already on the first day of the main draw. It all started with Hungarian Marton Fucsovics and NextGen-Star Felix Auger-Aliassime. In the beginning the young Canadian showed why many experts see him as a future star on the tour, as he took the first set 6-1. Then, Fucsovic’s experience kicked in as the 26-year old took the second set 6-0. The third set was a real thriller which finally saw the veteran prevail 7-5.
The first seeded player took to the court in the second match on the centercourt. Croatian Borna Coric had to face Spaniard Albert Ramos-Vinolas and it was a tougher battle than Coric probably would have liked. Ramos Vinolas snatched the first set from the no. 6 seed in the tie-break. Then, just as in the first match, the momentum completely changed and Coric took the set 6-0. Despite some muscular problems and a medical time-out the Croatian never looked back and took the match 6-4 in the third.
In the meantime, Russian lucky loser Andrej Rublev handily beat his American opponent Denis Kudla, who had fought a successful qualification campaign, 6-3, 6-0. Thus, the fans saw no less than 3 “bagels” in 3 matches – not a feat you see every day.
John Isner (USA) had to withdraw from the doubles with some hip pain. This, however, should be of no concern regarding his ambitions in the singles.