Daviscup in Innsbruck: Österreich unterliegt gegen Serbien

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Gerald Melzer verlor das Auftaktmatch gegen Dusan Lajovic, Dennis Novak hatte gegen Novak Djokovic kein Leiberl.

Daviscup in Innsbruck: Österreich unterliegt gegen Serbien
© APA/AFP/JOE KLAMAR / JOE KLAMAR Gekämpft und doch verloren: Gerald Melzer

Österreichs Davis-Cup-Team hat beim Finalturnier in Innsbruck das erste Gruppenspiel gegen Serbien schon vor dem Doppel verloren. Nach einer knappen Niederlage von Gerald Melzer gegen Dusan Lajovic hatte im Anschluss wie erwartet Dennis Novak im Duell der Nummer-1-Spieler gegen Superstar Novak Djokovic nichts zu melden. Novak unterlag dem Weltranglisten-Ersten nach nicht einmal einer Stunde glatt mit 3:6, 2:6.

Zuvor hatte der von ÖTV-Kapitän Stefan Koubek aufgebotene Gerald Melzer gegen den weit besser klassierten Lajovic eine starke Leistung gezeigt. Dennoch war er sehr enttäuscht. „Für mich war es nicht so großartig, muss ich sagen. Wenn ich annähernd mein Level schon von Beginn an abrufe, dann gewinne ich die Partie in zwei Sätzen, es waren zu viele leichte Fehler, das kannst dir auf dem Level nicht leisten“, meinte Melzer auf ServusTV.

Zu Beginn sei er sehr angespannt gewesen. „Ich bin dann lockerer geworden, umso mehr tut es dann weh, dass ich die Partie herschenke.“ Zur Frage, was gewesen wäre, hätte ihn 7.000 Fans anstelle der wegen Corona leeren Halle angefeuert? „Dann hätte ich es wahrscheinlich emotional gar nicht derblasen“, meinte Melzer lachend. „Natürlich, wenn dann noch einmal das Publikum im Rücken hast, wäre die Hütte abgebrannt.“

Daviscup in Innsbruck: Österreich unterliegt gegen Serbien
© APA/AFP/JOE KLAMAR / JOE KLAMAR Jubel in Blau: Das serbische Team feiert

Das Match spiegelte vom Start weg keinesfalls den doch eklatanten Unterschied im ATP-Ranking wieder: Melzer ist nach mehrjähriger Verletzungszeit, die ihn im Frühjahr ans Aufhören hatte denken lassen, nach starkem Aufwärtstrend auf Platz 287 zu finden, Lajovic auf Platz 33. Doch die Partie verlief äußerst ausgeglichen. Melzer hatte sich zuletzt auf erfolgreicher Südamerika-Tournee nicht nur Selbstvertrauen geholt, sondern auch Daviscup-Kapitän Stefan Koubek überzeugt. Bei 2:2 im ersten Satz hatte Melzer zunächst zwei Breakchancen, doch dann ging der Satz ins Tiebreak, das der 31-jährige Niederösterreicher nach einer 3:1-Führung und 59 Minuten nach sehenswertem Satzball mit 5:7 verlor.

Keinesfalls ließ sich Melzer davon beeinträchtigen: Bei 1:0 hatte er den nächsten Breakball, den er noch nicht nutzen konnte, doch bei 3:2 schaffte Österreichs Nummer zwei in Tirol das hochverdiente Break zum 4:2. Flott erhöhte er auf 5:2. Nach 1:37 Stunden schaffte Melzer nach einem wirklich ausgezeichneten Auftritt den Satzgleichstand zum 6:3.

Im dritten Durchgang hatte Lajovic im vierten Game bei 2:1 erstmals Breakbälle gegen Melzer, und den zweiten nutzte der exakt 13 Tage ältere Lajovic zum 3:1. Beim Stand von 4:1 schienen die Weichen schon zum Sieg des Favoriten gestellt, doch Melzer, der auch von seinem Bruder, Sportdirektor Jürgen, angefeuert wurde, bäumte sich nochmals auf. Melzer stellte auf 4:4 und geriet bei 5:6 mit 0:40 in Rückstand. Der Österreicher wehrte noch alle drei Matchbälle ab, vergab bei Vorteil eine Chance aufs Tiebreak und nach dem vierten Matchball musste er schließlich Lajovic gratulieren.

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