HEILBRONN, May 15, 2019 (by Dietmar Kaspar)
Wednesday’s action at the Neckarcup in Heilbronn was highlighted by the first appearance of top seeded Filip Krajinovic. The 2017 Heilbronn champion has been awarded a wildcard from tournament director Metehan Cebeci.
Following a bye in the first round, the 27-year-old Serb met German Dominik Koepfer in the stage of the final 16. After losing the first set 4-6, Koepfer fought back to clinch the second set with 6-4. Being down 2-4 in the deciding set, Krajinovic came back to win the third set 7-5.
The World No. 69, who finished runner-up to Matteo Berrettini at the Hungarian Open in Budapest last month, outpointed his 25-year-old rival 112-98 in the two hours and 16 minutes lasting encounter.
A relieved Krajinovic said after the tough three-set battle: „Dominik played really well today, I did not see him competing before. I am not happy about my match, but I got the win and hope to play better in the next matches. I look forward to go day by day. The way to another final is very far“.
Belgrade resident Krajinovic will compete versus Peter Polansky on Thursday. The 30-year old Canadian was noted in 2018 for reaching the main draw of all four Grand Slam tournaments as lucky loser.
Bachinger, Vesely, Novak advance
Earlier in the day, Centre Court action kicked off with an all-German battle between No. 16 seed Matthias Bachinger and ITF-entry Peter Heller. Under observation of his coach Lars Uebel, 32-year-old Bachinger didn’t face a break point, capitalizing on two of his own three opportunities to finish the encounter after 57 minutes by the score of 6-3, 6-3.
The tournament’s No. 4 Jiri Vesely faced German qualifier Daniel Masur. The 25-year-old Czech, who was runner-up at the Neckarcup 2018, outpointed his 24-year-old opponent 66-56, to claim a 7-5, 6-4 win after one hour and 23 minutes. Vesely will go head-to head versus Bachinger in the stage of the final 16.
„At the beginning of the match I felt really nervous, because I did not win many matches in recent times. But I played solid and served very well. This victory gives me confidence and will help me for the next match,” Vesely said.
Dennis Novak, who entered the competition on position 11, made a successful Neckarcup debut. The 25-year-old Austrian, who is training at the tennis center of Günter Bresnik in Vienna, competed versus Marco Trungelliti from Argentina.
Novak secured a 7-6, 6-2 victory after one hour and 26 minutes, sinning 80 per cent of his first service points.
„The first set was very close. I was down 2-4, but then I played really well and dominated the tie-break to win the first set. At the beginning of the second set, there were three close games in my favor to break the motivation of my opponent,” Novak said after the match.
Otte upsets Istomin
Oscar Otte from Germany was a nasty surprise for No. 5 seeded Denis Istomin, who is representing Uzbekistan. The 25-year-old Cologne native won 23 of his 26 first service points to prevail after 56 minutes with 6-2, 6-2. Otte will face Novak in the next round.
Following the match, Otte stated: „It was a solid performance until the end of the match, so I am happy to get such a clear result, being able to save energy for the encounter tomorrow. It will be my first meeting with Dennis. I expect a good match, the form of the day will be the deciding factor.”
Former ATP No. 12 Viktor Troicki had to withstand a topsy-turvy match. The 33-year-old Serb, who clinched the Davis Cup title in 2010, entered the second round as a lucky looser.
After leading 5-2 in the deciding set, he had to secure the win in the tie-break. In the two hours and 13 minutes lasting encounter, Troicki broke his opponent six times by dropping five service games, to secure a 2-6, 6-1, 7-6 win.
Asked about his inconsistent performances during the tournament, Troicki answered: „My whole career and my whole life is an up and down. I do not have much confidence at the moment, so my ranking is not so good as it was before. My life is to compete, so I will play as long as possible at professional level.”
Bublik, Brown fall
No. 3 seed Alexander Bublik suffered an early exit. The 21-year-old Russian native, who is representing Kazakhstan, fell to Jozef Kovalik from Slovakia.
Bublik, who already won three titles on the ATP Challenger Tour this season, lost the first set in the tie-break. In the second set he lost motivation, crowned by the failed attempt of an underarm serve. After 89 minutes, Kovalik secured a 7-6, 6-0 victory.
Just a casual no-look underarm ace from Sasha Bublik in Heilbronn. 😎 pic.twitter.com/dzWvFhte2J
— ATP Challenger Tour (@ATPChallenger) 15. Mai 2019
No. 13 seeded Italian Stefano Travaglia eased past German veteran Dustin Brown in the evening session. Capitalizing on three of his five break point chances without dropping a service game, 27-year-old Travaglia claimed a 6-1, 6-4 victory in 51 minutes to face Kovalik in the third round.
Main draw singles second round
Filip Krajinovic – Dominik Koepfer 6-4, 4-6, 7-5
Guillermo Garcia-Lopez – Daniel Altmaier 6-3, 6-3
Victor Troicki – Alexey Vatutin 2-6, 6-1, 7-6
Jozef Kovalik – Aleander Bublik 7-6, 6-0
Stefano Travaglia – Dustin Brown 6-1, 6-4
Hugo Dellien – Attila Balazs 4-6, 6-2, 6-3
Matthias Bachinger – Peter Heller 6-3, 6-3
Jiri Vesely – Daniel Masur 7-5, 6-4
Oscar Otte – Denis Istomin 6-2, 6-2
Dennis Novak – Marco Trungelliti 7-6, 6-2