Showing nerves of steel, Dennis Novak made it through to the second round of the Erste Bank Open. The Austrian outlasted Italian Gianluca Mager (ATP 68) 7-6 (4), 7-6 (4).
Novak had no break points in either sets, but was able to save three such by his opponent. “It was a difficult match, very much depending on the serve”, Novak explained afterwards. “My serve was good, except for that one game in the second set when I had 15-40.”
Novak showed the better nerves in both tie-breaks and was able to get quick mini-breaks. In Thursday’s second round he will face either Reilly Opelka (USA) or Jannik Sinner (ITA) who will play their first round match on Wednesday.
Zverev cruises into next round
Already before, Olympic champion Alexander Zverev reached the second round without any major problems. He eliminated Serbia’s Filip Krajinovic in 81 minutes 6-2, 7-5.
Zverev was dominant throughout the first set, breaking his opponent’s service twice, dictating speed and the game.
In the second set, the momentum seemed to shift in favor of Krajinovic as he sprang out to a 5-2 lead, but wasn’t able to keep up the quality. “I thought I couldn’t play any bader”, said Zverev after the game. “The game to make it 3-5 was a good one and from there the match went in my direction again.” Five games in a row sealed the deal for the man from Hamburg to cap off an actually quite comfortable win.
Love letter to Vienna and the fans
Zverev thanked the fans in the stadium: “Of course, the crowd helped me. Athletes need the emotions and have missed them during Corona. I am so glad to be back in Vienna and be able to play in front of so many fans. I hope that I can come back here every year now.”