The first singles appeareance of Dennis Novak at this year’s Erste Bank Open 500 was also his last. The 25-year old from Lower Austria lost 3-6, 5-7 to Russia’s Karen Khachanov (ATP 19).
The match started out in the worst possible way for Novak, as Khachanov sprung out to a quick 3-0 lead with a break. Then, the crowd’s enthusiasm got Novak going and he won the next three games to even the set at 3-3. With Khachanov leading 4-3 the Austrian had a usually unthinkable lapse – a mistake, he wouldn’t recover from for the rest of the match. Khachanov broke his serve and then served the set out.
In the second set, Novak was still stunned from the momentum change delivering Khachanov two easy breaks to give the Russian a 3-0 lead. Then, Khachanov handed Novak a re-break and the Austria was back into business, even managing to get the second re-break. At 5-5 and serve Novak a passing ball of the Austrian went just a bit wide. With a net-cord shot the Russian broke to make it 6-5 and then served out.
Monfils advances to round 2
Already before, Frenchman Gael Monfils beat American Steve Johnson in the first match of the day 4:6, 6:3, 6:2.
Fans on the NextGen-Court were treated to a surprise, as Hungarina Marton Fucsovics ousted no. 7 seed Fabio Fognini 4:6, 6:3, 6:2.
Kukushkin ousts Dimitrov
Yet another seeded player had to burry his dreams of winning the title in Vienna, as Grigor Dimitrov lost to Mikhail Kukushkin 4:6, 6:4, 4:6.
In a battle between two great fighters, Britain’s Kyle Edmund (8) kept the upper hand against Argentinian Diego Schwartzmann, winning 6:3, 7:6(3).
Title defender out
In the last match of the day, Croatian Bonra Coric took out French title holder Lucas Pouille 4-6, 6-0, 6-4.