The Austrian-German pairing had to bow to number three seeded duo John Peers and Filip Polasek (AUS / SVK) 6: 7 (3/7) 5: 7. Melzer had announced that he would play his last tournament in Vienna. “I was a little afraid that not so many would come after all. Thank you very much, it was a great honor for me to resign ”, said Melzer, whose doubles were not played in the town hall, but on Court B on the Heumarkt this time, and turned to the fans.
The Austrian thanked Zverev explicitly. “He didn’t hesitate for five seconds to play here with me, that’s not a given when you’re in number four and you’re close to the Masters. Unfortunately it was a short undertaking, but thank you. “
Melzer, who has been sports director for ÖTV since the beginning of January, has been working in his second career for almost a year. But even as an active athlete, his heart still belonged to tennis. “My career started here on an international level almost 22 years ago, in 1999 here in the town hall, where for the first time I was able to dream of really going the way as a professional tennis player. In the end, I am now 22 years later and would have signed everything I achieved. It was an incredible journey that ends today. Which I couldn’t have dreamed of, ”said Melzer in his speech.
Melzer won two Grand Slam titles in doubles
Melzer has five ATP singles titles, including two victories in Vienna (2009, 2010), and eight singles finals, and in 2010, after a quarter-final victory at the French Open, he was in a major after a 2-0 set deficit over Novak Djokovic -Semifinals. In doubles he won 17 titles, including two Grand Slam triumphs in Wimbledon (2010) and at the US Open (2011 / each with Philipp Petzschner / GER).
His highest rankings were number eight in singles and number six in doubles. In 2011 he stayed in the top ten for 17 weeks in both rankings. In 2020 he was still in the final at the ATP finals in London with Edouard Roger-Vasselin in the late autumn of his career.
“It was an incredible journey”
Melzer explained: “Of course you still hope to be at the top, but at some point you will be realistic enough to be able to assess: It won’t be enough for that. It was an amazing journey that was a lot of fun. It’s over, but it’s a good thing. “
In the press conference, Melzer was not dissatisfied after his last appearance. “The match was still on a level for which I don’t have to be embarrassed. That was one of the best doubles in the world, and we were fully there. ”Actually, he hadn’t expected to be able to say goodbye in Vienna, but his ranking made it possible. “When you say goodbye at the end, it will clearly be emotional. I would have liked to finish the tournament, but when I say I would like to play another one next week, I don’t have that anymore. I found the right time to hang up the bat. “
Melzer talks about career highlights
In retrospect, Melzer also revealed his three highlights: “The Wimbledon victory with ‘Petzsche’ (Philipp Petzschner, note), to make up 0-2 sets against Djokovic, and I would also include a Vienna win,” said the father of a son. In the Davis Cup, his climax was in the hangar at the airport against France. “Definitely catching up 2: 0 against Gilles Simon at the airport, that was my personal highlight.”
What will he give the young players after his long career? “That you should figure out early what it means to subordinate everything to tennis. That it’s a job. Others sometimes sit ten hours a day in the office, you should also spend more hours playing tennis than the two to four hours you stand on the court. I try to teach our boys that as best I can. The sooner you understand this, the faster you will become good. “
One day Melzer will probably travel to Wimbledon with his son. If you reach the last eight in a Grand Slam tournament, you get tickets for life. “I look forward to it when my little one is interested.”
ATP 500 tournament in Vienna
(Austria, EUR 1.974 million, hard court / hall)