Tommy Haas and wife Sara Foster kicked off the German’s last appearance in Kitzbühel in traditional Austrian style, donning Tyrolean outfits in front of Wilder Kaiser on Monday ahead of the Generali Open.
“I’m happy to be back in Kitzbühel. This is the paradise of the Alps,” said Haas. “I always enjoy coming back here. I’m looking forward to my last tournament here and hope that I can play well.”
Thomaz Bellucci, a winner of four ATP World Tour clay-court titles, held his nerve in a thrilling 6-2, 5-7, 6-4 victory over Alexandr Dolgopolov, who was making his debut in Kitzbühel. Dolgopolov led 3-2 in the deciding set, but could not convert two break points on Bellucci’s serve at 15/40. The Brazilian then broke for a fourth time in the penultimate game and will next challenge a German in sixth seed Jan-Lennard Struff or Haas.
Joao Sousa was solid on serve hitting nine aces and saving six of seven break points to beat former World No. 8 Mikhail Youzhny 7-6(4), 5-7, 6-3 in two hours and 13 minutes. Youzhny recovered from a 2-5 deficit in the second set, but was broken to 15 in the 12th game. Sousa now meets third seed and defending champion Paolo Lorenzi, the recent Plava Laguna Croatia Open Umag runner-up (l. to Rublev).
Another Serbian, qualifier Miljan Zekic, recorded his first ATP World Tour match win by beating Andrey Kuznetsov 7-6(4), 7-6(6), closing out on his fourth match point opportunity. The 29 year old will now prepare to face second seed Fabio Fognini, who lifted his fourth trophy on Sunday at the J. Safra Sarasin Swiss Open Gstaad (d. Hanfmann).
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