STUTTGART, June 10, 2019
Two of the six German players in the singles main draw of the MercedesCup fell on the opening day of the ATP 250 grass-court event in Stuttgart. Mischa Zverev was without any chance against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France. The wild card entry lost 6-3, 6-0 in the first match on Center Court.
Tsonga dominated the encounter from start to finish, outpointing his opponent 56-30 to advance in only 56 minutes.
“It’s never easy to play your first match on grass, especially against Mischa, who is a good server,” said Tsonga after his first match on grass in two years. “With the year I’ve had last year, I just want to play and do my best during the grass swing. There is no special goal.”
The 34-year-old Le Mans native will next take on either Australian qualifier Alexei Popyrin or No. 6 seeded Canadian Milos Raonic.
Grass-court season is HERE 😜
Who’s pumped? pic.twitter.com/TyFixxPem4
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) 10. Juni 2019
Kohlschreiber falls to Kecmanovic
Later in the day, Miomir Kecmanovic knocked out two-time Stuttgart finalist Philipp Kohlschreiber, rallying 4-6, 7-5, 6-3. The 19-year-old from Serbia broke the German’s serve three times to prevail after one hour and 56 minutes.
“It was definitely tough today. It was my first grass-court match and it was difficult to get used to it but I tried to make as many balls I could and thankfully it paid off,” Kecmanovic said. “Serving better in the second set helped me to get some free points, which probably decided the match in the end.”
Next up for the teenager will be the winner of the match between Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff and Canadian young gun Denis Shapovalov.
Kohlschreiber will next play the NOVENTI Open in Halle. “Losing on Monday is pretty early, which means that I haven’t planned my journey to Westphalia yet,” the 35-year-old German told the media. “First of all, I have to come down and then we will see when to continue.”
Kohlschreiber made his seventh straight appearance in Swabia, reaching the finals on clay in 2013 and on grass in 2016. Last year, he also lost in the first round to Denis Istomin.
“I made too many mistakes today and that’s what has to stop. Then you can expect better results again,” Kohlschreiber stated.
All other matches were cancelled due to persistent rain and postponed to Tuesday, making it a packed schedule for tomorrow. Spectators can look forward to some interesting match-ups, as former Stuttgart champion Lucas Pouille will take on Spanish qualifier Feliciano Lopez in a re-match of the 2017 final and Australia’s enfant terrible Nick Kyrgios will play in-form Italian Matteo Berrettini, weather permitting.
Further read: Alexander Zverev meets the media in Stuttgart.