Second seed Diego Schwartzman drew on all his experience to overcome local wild card Sebastian Ofner 6-2, 2-6, 7-5 in two hours and 16 minutes on Thursday at the Generali Open in Kitzbühel.
“It was difficult for both of us, too many mistakes in the first set,” said Schwartzman, who next plays Laslo Djere. “But I got lucky at the end and I’ve very happy to be in the next round. I’m trying to get my confidence back after a difficult US swing.”
Schwartzman, appearing at the ATP 250 tournament for the first time since 2015, appeared to be in control when he broke in the first game of the second set, but he lost the next four games. The World No. 13 came within a point of taking a 4-1 lead in the decider, before a tense finish. He hit a double fault on his first match point, but closed out his 11th victory of the year.
Qualifier Djere got off to a fast start in both sets — a 2-0 lead in the first and 4-0 in the second — against wild card Jannik Sinner en route to a 6-4, 6-4 victory. “I played here once and I generally play well at altitude,” said Djere, in an on-court interview. “Yesterday was tough 0-4 down against Albert [Ramos-Vinolas], and I recovered today to play well from the beginning. It was definitely an advantage in the first round to be a qualifier, having played matches.”
Marc-Andrea Huesler charged through to his first ATP Tour quarter-final, eliminating top seed Fabio Fognini 6-1, 6-2 in 56 minutes. The Swiss qualifier saved all three break points he faced against 2017 semi-finalist Fognini, who was competing for the first time since having arthroscopic surgery on both ankles in May.
Huesler will meet Spain’s Feliciano Lopez for a semi-final spot. The 38-year-old fired 21 aces and won 92 per cent of first-serve points (61/66) to outlast seventh seed Guido Pella 7-5, 6-7(4), 7-6(3).
Seeds Dusan Lajovic, Nikoloz Basilashvili and Hubert Hurkacz were also beaten in the second round on Thursday.
The exodus started when Yannick Hanfmann overcame third seed Lajovic 4-6, 6-3, 6-4. Maximilian Marterer overcame fifth seed Hurkacz 6-1, 6-4, with the second set featuring five straight service breaks. Then, Federico Delbonis took out fourth seed Basilashvili 7-5, 6-3, which included a run of five straight games in the second set.
Elsewhere, Miomir Kecmanovic extended his perfect record to 4-0 against Jordan Thompson with a 6-2, 6-2 win. The pair had already met in 2020 at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open in Doha and at the Delray Beach Open by VITACOST.com.