I visited many ATP tournaments in Europe (Rome, Roland Garros, Madrid, Umag, Davis Cup..) but I have never been to Vienna, although it is not that far away. So I gave Vienna ATP 500 a go for friday, when all 4 singles quarterfinal matches took place.
Wiener Stadthalle, which is used for many occasions, was amazing for this ATP tournament and as it’s a 500 series, every detail looks even more organised (fans interactions during the match – Hawk Eye racquets, a lot to do outside the court etc.)
On friday it was played only on center court and luckily, all 4 matches ended 2-0 in sets so the “showdown” match between Zverev and Tsonga did not take place too late in the evening.
As I mentioned, 4 quarter-finals matches took place on friday and I will just quickly describe how I saw them.
Both guys play extremely agressive from the baseline but could both use a better footwork. On the day, especially Struff was struggling with timing and fitness, although both guys won the previous round late in the tiebreak of the third set. Edmund was able to push Struff’s comfort line back, so he could control the rallies with his forehand, which was working superb on the day.
Edmund won 6-2 7-5
Great match to watch as both guys played with controlled power behind the baseline. Schwartzman developed big time on hard courts this season but it was Kohlschreiber’s experience on indoor that prevailed in the end. Another factor that went in Kohlschreiber’s favour was the fact that he traditionally plays best on Austrian soil. During the match, he stayed agressive, disturbed Schwartzman’s rhythm with BH slices, which eventually got him a higher and slower ball from.
Kohlschreiber won 7-5 7-6
Battle of two Frenchmen, the first has his comfort line far behind the baseline and the second one is much more agressive, stepping inside the court at the slightest opportunity. Gasquet was dominating the backhand crosscourt exchange, whereas Pouille was better with the FH and was covering more than 50% of the court with his better shot. As many times in his career, Gasquet was again too passive and just hoped Pouille would make too many unforced errors. It was not the case with Pouille, who later even won the tournament.
Pouille won 7-6 6-1
The match everyone was eagerly awaiting was the one between Alexander Zverev (currently ranked #5) and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. Surprisingly, Tsonga went behind early 0-3 but managed to battle back on the wings of self confidence as last week in Anwterp he won his 4th tournament this season. Still, Tsonga looked totally gassed, suffering from heavy schedule (Paris ahead of him). Luckily for him, Zverev also had a long, long season and was out of breath after long exchanges. After the loss he explained that he was suffering from a stomach bug for last couple of days. Anyway, both guys produced some memorable shots and exchanges, which spectators loved.
Tsonga won 7-6 7-5
With last match, day came to an end and it was time to get back home. Our car was parked in the garage of Wiener Stadhalle for the whole day and I expected to pay 20+ € as in Ljubljana, but Austria once again surprised me in a positive way, the parking ticket was just 5 €.
See you another time Vienna!