STUTTGART, June 7, 2016
The remaining 10 first round matches were scheduled on Tuesday at the Mercedes Cup, headlined by Next Generation star Taylor Fritz, who saved one match point to overcome big-serving French qualifier Fabrice Martin 3-6, 7-6, 6-1. The 18-year-old Californian withstood 16 aces, firing 19 of his own to prevail in one hour and 28 minutes. Fritz, who is making his Stuttgart debut and was ranked world number 764 at this time one year ago, has now set a second round encounter with top-seed Roger Federer on Wednesday afternoon.
“It’s nice to see the young players, in particular from the United States. But there are also other talents like Coric or Zverev. Most of them will still need some time. The youngsters still have to work hard, also mentally getting used to the tour. I practiced with Fritz last year in Wimbledon and I was only rather average impressed by him. I thought that he played well but it is very difficult to foresee who is going to be the next incredible player. It’s not all about talent anymore. You really have to work hard but when it comes to the matches and balls got hit harder, they got better and better. Fritz has already proved his quality. I am happy to play against him here,” Federer told on Monday.
Fritz posted on his facebook page: “Happy to get the win today at the MercedesCup. What a battle! Excited to take on Roger Federer tomorrow!”
Juan Martin Del Potro has successfully returned to the grass courts in nearly three years since losing in the semi-finals in Wimbledon 2013, beating Grigor Dimitrov 6-4, 6-2. The 27-year-old Argentine was granted a wild card and hit 12 aces, winning 93% of his first service points to seal victory in 69 minutes. Del Potro will take on John Millman next, who knocked-off the tournament’s number eight Lucas Pouille 6-7, 6-3, 6-4 in two hours and three minutes.
In the second fastest match on Tuesday, local hero Philipp Kohlschreiber eased past Pierre-Hugues Herbert 6-4, 6-1. The top-ranked German didn’t face a break point, converting four of his own to celebrate his second win in as many meetings with the Frenchman after only 55 minutes. Kohlschreiber will face Denis Kudla next, who cruised past Dusan Lajovic, winning 6-0, 6-2 in only 44 minutes.
Jan-Lennard Struff set a second roud clash with fourth seed Gilles Simon with a 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 victory over Marco Baghdatis. The 26-year-old German, who finished runner-up to Radu Albot at the ATP Challenger in Fürth last Sunday, sent down seven aces and converted three of his nine break points to finish the encounter in one hour and 41 minutes.
Meanwhile on the Mercedes Court, 2002 Stuttgart champion Mikhail Youzhny knocked out the tournament’s number five and freshly crowned Roland Garros doubles champion Feliciano López, winning 7-6, 6-3. The 33-year-old Russian capitalized on two of his four break point opportunities to advance after one hour and 28 minutes. Youzhny will play Ukrainian qualifier Sergiy Stakhovsky next, who benefited from the retirement of German wild card Jan Choinski, leading 6-3 after 36 minutes.
German qualifier Florian Mayer upset last year’s runner-up and tournament’s sixth seed Viktor Troicki, winning 6-4, 7-6. The world number 226 from Bayreuth won 83% of his first service points and saved both break points he faced to advance in 70 minutes. Mayer will take on his compatriot Michael Berrer next.
With Radek Stepanek another qualifier made it into the second round. The 37-year-old Czech beat Denis Istomin 7-5, 3-6, 6-3 to face second seed Marin Cilic.