Melzers Face Off And Frenchmen Thrive In Wimbledon Qualies
Jurgen prevails over younger brother Gerald at Roehampton
Evidently, big brother knows best, as 34 year-old Jurgen Melzer took just 47 minutes to down 24 year-old Gerald 6-1, 6-4 in the first round of Wimbledon qualifying on Monday. It was the siblings’ first tour-level meeting. Currently Jurgen is 105th in the Emirates ATP Rankings but reached a career-high No. 8 in 2011. He has twice reached the fourth round at Wimbledon (2010 and 2013).
“It’s the worst feeling,” said Jurgen after the match. “My coach was joking about it [before the draw]. I hope it never happens again. Some people like to compete against family, and we do when we play cards or video games, but it’s not the same thing when it’s a tournament match.”
“Neither of us were happy to see the draw,” concurred Gerald. “We had a good practice and were looking forward to playing at Wimbledon, but it’s not the kind of match you’d want to play twice.”
Elsewhere, the French contingent had a strong day. Unseeded Vincent Millot, ranked 213rd in the world, took down top seed Belgian Kimmer Koppejans 6-3, 2-6, 6-3. Joining their countryman in the second round of qualifying are 2015 Queen’s doubles champ Pierre-Hugues Herbert (d. Podlipnik-Castillo 6-3, 6-2), Paul-Henri Mathieu (d. Novikov 6-2, 2-6, 6-3), Edouard Roger-Vasselin (d. A. Martin 6-3, 5-7, 9-7), Enzo Couacaud (d. Desein 6-4, 6-4), Kenny De Schepper (d. Albot 7-6, 6-4) and Stephane Robert (d. Gombos 6-3, 7-5). Tristan Lamasine also moved into round two when American opponent Chase Buchanan retired due to injury.
Last year’s Halle runner-up Alejandro Falla overcame 19th seed Taro Daniel of Japan 6-2, 4-6, 6-1. Falla holds a 5-10 main draw record at Wimbledon but is best known for nearly defeating seven-time winner Roger Federer in their first-round encounter in 2010. On that day, the Colombian held a two sets to love lead and served for the match in the fourth set before Federer roared back to prevail in five.