Former World No. 8 Jurgen Melzer considers his comeback victory over Novak Djokovic in the quarterfinals of the 2010 French Open to be the biggest win of his singles career. Melzer also feels honored to have played in the same era as legends like Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
Novak Djokovic, who was seeded third at the 2010 French Open, took a two-sets-to-love lead over Jurgen Melzer in that quarterfinal match. However, the Austrian came back to win 3-6, 2-6, 6-2, 7-6, 6-4 after a 4 hour 15 minute marathon.
The result was especially significant since it remains the only time in his career that Novak Djokovic has lost a match after winning the first two sets. It was also the only time that Melzer scored a win over Novak Djokovic, out of four singles meetings.
"Yes, of course it's nice to be mentioned again and again," Melzer said. "Perhaps this single match (over Novak Djokovic) was also my biggest singles success but I also have fond memories of the victories against Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Andre Agassi. There have been a few cool matches in my career where I was able to win against the big guys. That's why I can only look back positively."
After his win over Novak Djokovic, Melzer went on to lose to then four-time French Open champion Rafael Nadal in the semifinals. That tournament marked the only time Melzer advanced past the fourth round in singles at a Grand Slam event, although he did win two doubles Slams and one mixed doubles Major title.
It was an honor to play in the era of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic: Jurgen Melzer
Jurgen Melzer also spoke about his experience of playing in the same era as the Big 3 of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.
"It was an honor to play in this big era," the 39-year-old said. "I was also lucky enough to be able to play against people like Andre Agassi or Tim Henman at the beginning of my career. It is a time when there were so many good players."
Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal weren't the only quality players Melzer had to deal with though. There were also the likes of Lleyton Hewitt, David Nalbandian and Nikolay Davydenko, who were all very tough to beat.
"My year alone is impressive: I don't know how many top 10 players emerged from the 1981 year," Melzer added. "Hewitt, Federer, Davydenko, Robredo, Lopez - these are just the players I can think of on the fly. In the juniors, I also played with Nalbandian or Coria."
Melzer expressed pride at everything he has achieved in his career, saying that he couldn't have asked for much more when he turned pro back in 1999.
"In the end, I made it into the top 10," he said. "This sure is something that I will be proud of for the rest of my life. At the beginning of my career I would definitely have signed that."
The Austrian, who recently won the doubles title at the St. Petersburg Open with Edouard Roger-Vasselin, also revealed his own future plans in the interview. Melzer will take over the position of the sports director at the Austrian Tennis Association next year, and while 2020 is his last full season on the tour, he is open to playing a few big events next season.
"2020 will definitely be my last season on the ATP tour," Melzer said. "Of course, I hope that we can top it off with a Masters run in London. After the Australian Open , I will work as a sports director for the Austrian Tennis Association. I will be responsible for a few things on the sporting side and manage the sporting business."Published 27 Oct 2020, 12:45 IST