MUNICH, May 1, 2017
Four Germans were in Monday’s first round action at the BMW Open by FWU, headlined by Munich’s 2013 champion Tommy Haas. The 39-year-old Hamburg native, who has indicated that his 12th appearance in Bavaria will be his last, overcame Ukrainian Sergiy Stakhovsky from a set down, winning 1-6, 6-3, 6-4.
After a rusty start and losing the opening set, Haas seemed to get used to the chilly conditions and broke serve in the eighth game of the second set. It was the turning point when the Hamburg native was able to push the match the distance.
Backed by his home crowd, Haas played a tremendous final set, winning 100 per cent of his first service points and 20 of his 21 return points. The former World No. 2 broke serve in the seventh game and eventually converted his third match point with a service winner to secure victory in one hour and 34 minutes.
“Sergiy had a strong start into the match. He served well, came often to the net and made it pretty difficult for me to foresee what is going to happen next,” Haas told afterwards. “The most important thing is that I found my way back into the match. So I am very happy with the outcome.”
Haas made his debut in Munich in 1998 and has returned to the venue of the MTTC Iphitos for the first time since 2014.
“Conditions were tough today, as it was really cold but that’s how it is and I am just happy to be back here. I am looking forward to step on the court again.”
Haas will next take on Jan-Lennard Struff. The seventh seed from Warstein emerged victorious from the all-German-affair with Daniel Masur, who appeared in his very first ATP main draw match, winning the opening encounter on centre court 6-3, 6-4 in 64 minutes.
“It wasn’t easy today, as it was pretty warm and the balls bounced high,” Struff told. “I am really looking forward to play against Tommy. He was one of my idols. We practiced together here on Sunday and competing against each other on centre court would be awesome.”
In the final match of the day, Yannick Hanfmann made a successful debut at ATP World Tour-level. The 25-year-old qualifier from Germany edged past Austria’s number two player Gerald Melzer, winning 6-4, 5-7, 6-1.
Hanfmann, who helped the University of Southern California win two national championships during his four years of college tennis between 2012 and 2015, prevailed after one hour and 42 minutes to face eighth seed Thomaz Bellucci next. The World No. 57 from Brazil defeated Mikahil Kukushkin of Kazakhstan in one hour and 17 minutes.
Kohlschreiber Opens Title Bid On Tuesday
Ten Germans are in the BMW Open by FWU field this week, led by third seed Alexander Zverev and three-time Munich champion Philipp Kohlschreiber. The 20-year-old Zverev has a 265-point lead in the Emirates ATP Race to Milan as he eyes a place at the inaugural Next Gen ATP Finals.
His 33- year-old countryman Kohlschreiber surpassed 400 victories in March, with much of his success coming on German soil. Kohlschreiber, who will open his title defence on Tuesday against Norwegian teenager Casper Ruud, is 109-57 in Germany and 295-255 elsewhere.