MUNICH, April 30, 2017
Four qualifiers completed the main draw of the BMW Open by FWU on a sunny Sunday in Munich, highlighted by local favourite Yannick Hanfmann. The 25-year-old German defeated Uladzimir Ignatik from Belarus 6-4, 7-6 to get into his first main draw at an ATP World Tour event.
Hanfmann won 86 per cent of his first service points and broke serve two times to seal victory in one hour and 21 minutes.
“I knew that I will have the chance to realize a dream. I just needed to stay focused and cool during the match,” Hanfmann told Tennis TourTalk after the encounter on Court 1.
“It means a lot to me. To compete in a main draw of an ATP World event is great. Nonetheless, this should not be an unique experience. That’s where I want to establish myself some day. This has been the first step and maybe it is going a bit further in the future.”
The Karlruhe native is currently ranked on a career high World No. 262 and captured three of his five ITF Pro Circuit titles last year.
“The most important thing is to improve year by year. I want to play Grand Slams. That’s the main goal for this or next year.”
Hanfmann also played college tennis in the United States and graduated from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles in 2015.
“I have been playing a lot of matches for four years during college times, which was really tough. It wasn’t always nice tennis but I competed in a lot of difficult encounters, which was good preparation for the tour.”
Hanfmann added that he will spend the rest of the day in a relaxed atmosphere with a couple of friends before he will take Gerald Melzer from Austria in his first round match.
He will be joined by Jozef Kovalik from Slovakia, who defeated German Jeremy Jahn 7-5, 6-3.
The 24-year-old from Bratislava also battled through the qualifying in Munich last year and fell in the quaterfinals to Fabio Fognini. Kovalik will open in the main draw against Frenchman Jeremy Chardy.
The last two qualifiers will go head to head in the first round, as Cedrik-Marcel Stebe of Germany will face Guido Pella from Argentina. Stebe edged past Jerzy Janowicz, winning 7-6, 6-2 and Pella beat Belgian Yannick Mertens 6-3, 6-4.
Top Stars Arrive In Munich
On Monday, Tommy Haas will start his Munich campaign against Sergiy Stakhovsky from the Ukraine.
Defending champion Philipp Kohlschreiber will open his title bid against ATP NextGen star Casper Ruud on Tuesday and top seed Gael Monfils, who arrived at the venue of the MTTC Iphitos for a first practice session with Andreas Seppi. The World No. 17 will step into action on Thursday.