Top seed David Ferrer survived a game effort from countryman Albert Ramos-Vinolas to secure a spot in the second round of the Erste Bank Open in Vienna, Austria. Fifth seed Dominic Thiem was not as a lucky as the Austrian as stunned in the opening round by Jerzy Janowicz.
Thiem Shocked After Early Lead
Fifth seed Dominic Thiem looked to be set for a short day of work after rolling through the opening set over Jerzy Janowicz 6-2. Thiem was flawless with his first serve as he won 12 of 12 points and broke Janowicz twice in the set. The second started started with a swap of service holds for the first five games before Janowicz got three looks at break chances in the sixth game. He would convert the third chance for a 4-2 lead. Janowicz would make the set interesting though as he gave a break back as the set worked to a tie break. The Pole held strong though to even the match with a 7-5 edge in the tie break.
The third set saw the fifth seed from Austria lose it early as he was broken in the opening game of the set. Janowicz dominated Thiem from that point on as he won 20 of his 23 service points to finish a surprise win 2-6, 7-6 (5), 6-4. Thiem took to his Facebook page following the match to lament dropping serve early in the third set, saying "The break right at the beginning of the third set was not necessary, the problem was that I kept thinking about the second set. Janowicz returned really well and served amazingly."
Seeds Grind Out Wins
Top seed David Ferrer avoided a stunning early exit to fellow Spaniard Albert Ramos-Vinolas. Ferrer was forced to rally back after being drummed in the opening set 6-1. The top seed was also down triple break point in the sixth game of the second set before springing to life. Ferrer held off five break points in that game to hold to 3-3. He would break Ramos in the next game and reel off four straight games in all to close the second set 6-3 to even the match. The final set seemed destined for a tie break with service holds through nine games. Ramos fell apart in the tenth as Ferrer broke him to complete the 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 win.
Third seed John Isner started his Vienna campaign with a tight 7-6 (4), 7-6 (5) win over French qualifier Kenny De Schepper. Isner had 16 aces in the match and did not face a break point. Very little separated the two except for a few key moments in both tie breaks. Isner won 76 percent of his service points, while De Schepper won 75 percent of his. For the match, both players won exactly 80 points each. After the match, Isner told Agence France-Presse that he thinks everything in Vienna should suit his game this week, "I like the conditions here, the court and the balls are fantastic."
In other action, sixth seed Gael Monfils returned to action for the first time since August 31st and scored a three set win over Thomaz Bellucci. Both players were shaky in the opening set as Monfils broke for an early lead, but saw that lead evaporate at the tail end of the set as he was broken trying to serve out the first at 5-4. Bellucci would win the opener in a tie break 7-5. In the second, the Frenchman fought off three break points in the fifth game and then secured a break of Bellucci in the next game as he ran out to a 6-3 second set win to even the match. Monfils took a quick lead in the third with a break of serve to open the set. The sixth seed would hold on for a 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-4 victory.
Other First Round Matches
Among the matches that did not feature seeded players on Tuesday, American Steve Johnson picked up a three set win over Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-3, 4-6, 6-2. Johnson's serve was a huge weapon as he won 83 percent of his first serve points and dished out 16 aces. Sergiy Stakhovsky beat Jan-Lennard Struff for just the second time in seven career meetings. Stakhovsky edged the German 6-4, 6-4. Paolo Lorenzi notched a first round win over Rajeev Ram in a roller coaster affair 6-7 (4), 6-1, 6-4. Ram smashed 16 aces, but was broken four times to just one by the Italian. Spaniard Guillermo Garcia-Lopez won for just his second time in eight career matches in Vienna. He beat Santiago Giraldo easily 6-4, 6-3.
Day Three Schedule
Wednesday will see the last three seeds get in their opening round matches. Second seed Kevin Anderson draws Austrian Andreas Haider-Maurer to open. Prior to that match on Centre Court, fourth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga makes his Vienna debut against wild card Tommy Haas. On Court B, 8th seed Fabio Fognini starts his week against Paul-Henri Mathieu. Third seed John Isner will also be in action. His second round match is scheduled second on Centre Court against Ernests Gulbis.