HALLE, June 18, 2019
The remaining nine first-round matches were on Tuesday’s schedule at the NOVENTI Open, led by nine-time Halle champion and World No. 3 Roger Federer along with No. 4 seed and last year’s winner Borna Coric.
Federer opened his title bid with a 7-6(1), 6-3 win over John Millman from Australia. The Swiss maestro saved the only break point he faced, captializing on of his own two chances in the second set to extend his match record on the grass in Westphalia to 64-7. The encounter lasted one hour and 17 minutes.
A first grass-court win of 2019 for @rogerfederer 🙌
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) 18. Juni 2019
“It was the expected tough test. I did not expect anything else but this hard-fought match,” Federer said.
Up next for Federer will be Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who emerged victorious from the all-French affair with Benoit Pair, winning 6-4, 7-5 in one hour and 18 minutes.
Coric starts title defence
Coric defeated #NextGenATP Spaniard Jaume Munar, 7-6(2), 6-3. The 22-year-old from Croatia won 80 per cent of his first service points and 55 per cent of the total points played to advance in one hour and 25 minutes.
“Overall it was a solid match. In the important points I was playing very well and the early break in the second set helped me a lot,” said Coric, who will take on Joao Sousa of Portugal in Wednesday’s match of the day.
Struff secures first win at Halle
Earlier in the day, Jan-Lennard Struff of Germay picked up his first win at his home ATP 500 tournament, beating Serbian Laslo Djere of Serbia 6-4, 6-4. The 29-year-old Warstein native, playing at a career-high No. 35 in the ATP Rankings, improved to 22-14 this season and will next meet third-seeded Russian Karen Khachanov.
“Halle is my home tournament. I was here as a child and watched. Then I played six times before, but could not win a match. I am so glad that this curse is now over. Now I can see how far this year is going,” Struff was pleased after his premiere victory.
Italy’s Matteo Berrettini, who lifted the trophy at the MercedesCup in Stuttgart on Sunday, defeated No. 6 seeded Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-4, 6-4 for a second-round meeting with compatriot Andreas Seppi.
Other winners Tuesday included Roberto Bautista Agut, David Goffin, Richard Gasquet and Sergiy Stakhovsky.
Alexander Zverev withdraws from doubles due to knee injury
Alexander Zverev was forced to withdraw from his doubles match alongside his brother Mischa due to injury. The siblings were scheduled to take on Ben McLachlan of Japan and Jan-Lennard Struff.
Sascha slipped on the grass in his singles match on Monday against Robin Haase and hurt his knee. The Zverev Brothers were replaced by Matthew Ebden from Australia and US-American Denis Kudla. McLachlan/Struff won in straight sets 6-4, 6-4.
Whether Sascha can contest his second round match on Thursday against US-American Steve Johnson is unclear.