KITZBÜHEL, August 7, 2015
Four countries were represented in the semi-finals on Friday at the Generali Open in Kitzbühel with the local hero headlining the action.
In the highly expected Austrian-German-clash, sixth seed Philipp Kohlschreiber, who appeared in his second semi-finals of the season, ended the 10-match-winning streak of Dominic Thiem. The 31-year-old Kitzbühel resident didn’t face a break point and capitalized on three of his own. Kohlschreiber took the opening set in only 25 minutes. In an even second frame, the German had saved one set point in the tie-break, before he converted his first match point to seal victory in one hour and 28 minutes.
“Philipp was the better player today. I had the chance to close the second frame but unfortunately double faulted at set point. Nonetheless, Philipp was more dominant on court,” Thiem stated after winning two titles within the last 20 days. “Every winning streak has come to an end. I didn’t play well today and of course I didn’t feel that fresh as at the beginning of the three weeks,” the Austrian youngster had to admit and added that he will leave for Montréal on Saturday or Sunday. “Next weeks will be very hard. The journey with a long-haul flight and the jet leg will be tough, but of course I will give my very best.”
Kohlschreiber was understandably happy afterwards. “I had a great start into the match. I put a lot of pressure on him and didn’t make any mistakes,” he said. “Dominic improved his game in the second set but I also started to produce some unforced errors, which made the match maybe even tighter than it had to be.”
“I came to Kitzbühel with less victories than I had hoped but my tennis has improved throughout the week, which was necessary to defeat Dominic. The tournament means a lot to me and of course I want to win it now,” Kohlschreiber said.
Kohlschreiber spoke to Austrian Television right after the match (in German):
The German will take on Paul-Henri Mathieu, who defeated Nicolas Almagro, winning 6-4, 6-3. The French qualifier won 85% of his first service points, converted four of his eight break points and was the calmer player. At the end of the first set Almagro lost his temper and eventually his game. Almagro told a ballkid to be faster, which ended in a warning for the Spaniard by umpire Carlos Bernardes. From then on the audience on centre court favoured the Frenchman and Mathieu closed the match, firing his sixth ace after one hour and 14 minutes to reach his first final on the ATP World Tour since Hamburg 2009.
“I am really happy to be through. It was very hot and tough out there. When Nicolas lost his focus at 4-5, I knew that I have to keep pushing and that’s what I did,” Mathieu told after winning his sixth match in a row in Kitzbühel. “I feel good. When you have the chance to claim a title, everything is fine. I had to undergo surgery and wasn’t able to play tennis for almost two year. Two years ago, I came back on the tour facing another issue, as my wife got sick but for about a few months I feel relieved. Being in the final here is a great thing for me,” the former world number 12, who dropped to 109th position, told. “It has been a hard time. I played a few Challenger as well as qualification on ATP World Tour level. I do not have a sponsor anymore. This is not easy, when you had been in the top 20 before. When you go down in rankings, you feel a bit alone. It took me a lot of energy to come back, but I always believed in myself.”
Kohlschreiber and Mathieu will meet for the fifth time on the tour with the German leading 3-1 in head to head records. Kohlschreiber also won the last two encounters between the two at the Australian Open and in Montpellier this season.