Luczak win lifts Open wildcard chances
January 01, 2007
AUSTRALIAN Peter Luczak started the new year with a fighting, upset win against fifth seed Dominik Hrbaty 7-6 6-3 at the Adelaide International tennis tournament today.
The Victorian fought hard to overcome his Slovakian opponent in his first round robin match at Memorial Drive after trailing 5-2 in the first set.
Hrbaty failed to convert a set point at 5-3 after Luczak had a bit of luck with a forehand mishit falling inside the baseline.
The 166th ranked Australian steadied his game and serve, sending down four aces to stay in the set and force a tie break.
He only needed one set point to take the tie break nine points to seven.
In the second, Luczak continued to dominate from the baseline while six double faults destroyed Hrbaty's serving confidence.
Luczak said the win was a great start in the lead up to the Australian Open and the tournament's new round robin format might have been the reason for his lack of nerves.
This tournament is the first time the ATP tour has tried a new system with a field of 32 players that includes an initial elimination round followed by eight three player pools and a finals knock-out series.
"The pressure was off me and I could go out there and enjoy it," he said.
"Even in the tie break when I was down six points to four, I had some strange feeling that I was not getting tight.
"It is good to know that you at least have two matches either way."
Luczak said while he hoped the win might earn him a wildcard into the Open later this month, his eyes were firmly set on a spot in the Australian Davis Cup team.
"For me the Davis Cup is the most important (event) and I just love that sort of atmosphere and playing for your country is magnificent," he said.
"Wayne Arthurs is probably not too far away from retiring so there is definitely a chance that one of us guys hopefully can be a regular member of the team."
Luczak will play American Paul Goldstein in his second and final pool match on Wednesday