Rolex Paris Masters: Dominik Koepfer who got the second chance after the qualifying drama defeated Andy Murray, former World No. 1, 6-4, 5-7, 7-6(9) in a three-hour-long battle.
Playing his first main draw tournament, Dominik Koepfer was in pretty much in control of the match. The game was however a rollercoaster ride and went to the decider to announce the winner.
Britain had a total of seven Matchpoints with two at 5-4 in the decider while five-match points in the tie-break. Despite getting seven chances the former World No. 1 had to walk off the court in the disappointment of failing to convert.
“It was unbelievable. I thought I had it in my hands in the second set serving for it at 5-4. He just made a lot of balls, I didn’t make a lot of balls. That was the difference, and it was just a great fight in the third set,” Koepfer said in his post-match interview. “I just tried to stay in the moment and tried to play every point.
“Obviously it’s tough to play against him. He makes so many balls and is an unbelievable competitor. I knew that going in, I was ready for it and [am] just happy I got through.”
The German was given the ticket after American Jenson Brooksby withdrew with an abdominal injury. The lefty, who attended Tulane University in the United States, showed no fear of the moment.
In the recent Vienna Open, Koepfer had a similar story and there too he played as a lucky loser but could not manage the challenge from Lorenzo Sonego. He although made the semi-finals in doubles as a lucky loser alongside Sander Gille.
“I was struggling the past few matches, actually lost five times within the past week. I got in as a double lucky loser last week, lost four times: two times in doubles, two times in singles. That was not great, you lose some confidence,” Koepfer said. “Coming through with such a great fight, good attitude — I competed hard and played pretty good tennis — I think it was pretty big for me.”
“I heard about it at 4 o’clock. I was about to go back to the hotel and then one of the ATP tour managers texted me, ‘Dom, you in? You’re playing against Andy Murray’,” Koepfer said. “Honestly, I was a little nervous. I didn’t expect to play today, I was hoping that someone was going to pull out tomorrow. But a night match here in Paris, a lot of fans, they had an unbelievable crowd, the first time for me for a while. It’s been a great day. Unexpected, but it worked out and I’m happy.”
Andy Murray on the other end tried his best, however, Koepfer played his best tennis and answered every question Murray asked. Earlier in Roland Garros, the German pushed Roger Federer to four tough sets too. This is something Koepfer was lacking earlier which he did get this time, a win.