The Czech players were the story of the day as they swept through their first round matches in Vienna. Radek Stepanek, Lukas Rosol and Jiri Vesely were all winners on Monday. Ivo Karlovic was the lone seed to open on Monday. He won in straight sets.
Karlovic Starts Well
As the lone seed in action on Monday, Ivo Karlovic moved on with relative ease over 7-6 (5), 6-3. The 7th seeded Croatian faced just one break point in the match and saved it. He walloped 17 aces in the match and was nearly unstoppable with his powerful first serve. Karlovic won 43 of 48 first serve points in the match. He did just enough to win with a late break in the first set tie break to take the opening set. In the second set, the 7th seed secured the decisive break in the sixth game.
Three players from the Czech Republic opened play on Monday at the Erste Bank Open. Veteran Radek Stepanek took advantage of a faulty second serve from Austria's Dennis Novak to take him down 6-4, 6-3. Novak was forced to 31 second serves, winning just six points. Lukas Rosol battled qualifier Yuichi Sugita in his first round match. The Czech had ten aces and won 33 of 38 first serve points to beat Sugita 6-4, 7-6 (2). The third Czech to play on Monday was Jiri Vesely. Vesely used solid serving to oust Gerald Melzer 6-4, 6-3. He broke the Austrian four times on seven chances.
Gulbis Wins First Match Since August
The other story of the opening day in Vienna was Ernests Gulbis scoring his first win since the Rogers Cup back in August. Gulbis came into his match against qualifier Lucas Miedler on a six match losing skid. The Latvian started with a strong serve in the opening set to score a 6-3 win. Gulbis won 21 of 25 first serve points and broke the local boy the one time needed to take the set. In the second, Gulbis could not get his first serve in consistently as Miedler took advantage, winning nine of 12 points off Gulbis' second serve. He broke him twice and raced to a 6-2 win to even the match.
In the decisive set, both players were a bit shaky to start. Over the first six games, both were forced to save multiple break points to a 3-3 score. After missing two break chances in the sixth game, Miedler came unraveled as Gulbis broke him at-love for a 4-3 lead. After a hold, Gulbis would finally finish off the Austrian on the third match point for a 6-3, 2-6, 6-3 win.
Day Two Schedule
Four seeds are in action on the second day with top seed David Ferrer leading the way. Ferrer opens against Albert Ramos-Vinolas as the final schedules match of the day on Centre Court. In other action on the main court, third seed John Isner battles qualifier Kenny De Schepper and sixth seed Gael Monfils is pitted against Thomaz Bellucci. The match that will draw the most attention from the local crowd will see fifth seed Dominic Thiem of Austria up against Jerzy Janowicz.