MEERBUSCH, August 15, 2017
Teenager Nicola Kuhn has returned to the ATP Challenger Tour for the first time since lifting his maiden trophy in Braunschweig last month, winning his opening match at the €43,000 Bucher Reisen Tennis Grand Prix on a rain-interrupted Tuesday in Meerbusch.
The 17-year-old Spaniard battled past Sadio Doumbia of France 6-4, 4-6, 7-6. Kuhn, who competed in the 2. Bundesliga team competition for BASF TC Ludwigshafen in the last couple of weeks, sent down eight aces but also benefited from 16 double faults from his opponent to secure victory in two hours and 27 minutes.
Kuhn set a second round clash with the tournament’s number two Steve Darcis. The Belgian veteran rallied from a set down to overcome Constant Lestienne of France 1-6, 6-3, 6-1. Darcis saved four of the seven break points he faced, capitalizing on five of his own to prevail after one hour and 31 minutes.
Qualifier Marc Sieber knocked out fellow German and third seed Dustin Brown 6-2, 6-2 in the final match on centre court. The 29-year-old Munich resident won 72 per cent of his first service points and save both break points he faced to advance in 61 minutes. Next up for Sieber will be Karim-Mohamed Maamoun of Egypt.
Fourth favourite Arthur de Greef also fell in the opening round. The World No. 144 from Belgium lost 6-7, 4-6 to Ricardo Ojeda Lara from Spain, who finished the encounter after one hour and 37 minutes. Ojeda Lara will next challenge Swedish qualifier Markus Eriksson.