Melzer Defeats Lucky Loser to Defend Vienna Title

by John on November 1, 2010

Top-seeded Jurgen Melzer defended his title at the Bank Austria TennisTrophy in Vienna yesterday, defeating lucky loser Andreas Haider-Maurer 6-7 (10), 7-6 (4), 6-4.  The championship was the first of the year for the No. 12-ranked Austrian and third overall in 10 career finals.  Fellow Austrian Haider-Maurer had pulled out of the qualification round for the tournament with a thigh injury before entering the main draw as a replacement for No. 5 seed Ernests Gulbis.  “It was a very tough match for me today,” Melzer said.  “He was really serving well, and then at the end he was serving for the match, I was a little lucky to get back into the match.  I’m really fortunate to defend my title.  I’m very happy.  It’s a lot of emotions going through a match like this.  Winning the title, it means a lot to me.”  The No. 157-ranked Haider-Maurer, playing his first ATP Tour final, saved one set point before clinching the first set on his fifth opportunity in a gripping tiebreaker.  Haider-Maurer served for the match at 5-4 in the second set after having broken Melzer’s serve in the first game.  However, nerves caught up with the 23-year-old Austrian, and he served two double faults, allowing Melzer to break back and then level the match in the ensuing tiebreaker.  “It was very, very close,” Melzer said. “I just hoped that Andy would start thinking about winning and would get nervous and that’s exactly what happened.”  Melzer broke Haider-Maurer in the seventh game of the third set and served it out to conclude the match in two hours and 47 minutes.  “He’s among the best players in the world and played fantastic in the third set,” said Haider Maurer.  The victory gave a boost to Melzer’s chances of qualifying for the season-ending ATP World Tour Finals in London later this month. Currently 11th in the year-to-date ATP Rankings, the 29-year-old left-hander is chasing one of the three remaining berths in the elite eight-man field.  For Haider-Maurer, the tournament may prove to be a career-defining moment.  “It’s all still a dream to me,” the younger Austrian said. “Obviously, my next goal is getting in the top-100. When I keep playing on this level, it should be just a matter of time.”

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