HAMBURG, July 22, 2019
German players suffered an unsuccessful start to the Hamburg European Open on Monday. Home favourites Philipp Kohlschreiber and Daniel Altmaier lost in the first round of the ATP 500 tournament, both in straight sets.
Marton Fucsovics outplayed Kohlschreiber with an impressive performance under the closed roof on Centre Court. The 27-year-old Hungarian saved the only break point he faced and capitalized on four of his own nine break point chances to advance to the last 16 for the first time in Hamburg after only 65 minutes.
Kohlschreiber arrived at the Rothenbaum tournament on a three-match losing streak and is still seeking his first match win after reaching the second round at Roland Garros.
“Tennis has not been much fun for me in recent weeks, but I’m not giving up,” said Kohlschreiber, who is currently ranked World No. 72. “Winning matches is the only thing that can help.”
Next up for Fucsovics will be either the tournament’s top-seed Dominic Thiem of Austria or Pablo Cuevas from Uruguay. Thiem leads the head-to-head record 4-2.
Klizan cruises past Altmaier
Earlier in the day, Daniel Altmaier’s appearance on Centre Court only lasted two seconds longer than Kohlschreiber’s encounter. The 22-year-old German wild card entry lost to Martin Klizan in two sets. The 2016 Hamburg champion from Slovakia converted all five of his break point chances to secure a comfortable 6-2, 6-2 victory.
“Obviously I am not in the best mood because I couldn’t get into let’s say a good rhythm from the start. He was playing not that bad, but it is a shame for me because I was working hard during the last months and then to get a set-back like that, it’s tough and frustrating,” Altmaier commented on his defeat.
The young German has been sidelined from the courts for almost one year due to injury, missing almost the entire 2018 season. “Obviously, after an injury it’s always tough. I mean you’re trying to get as many matches as possible. That’s what I did,” Altmaier said.
“At the beginning of the year, I played at Futures level, then getting back to Challengers. I played against some pretty good guys starting in Heilbronn playing Guillermo Garcia Lopez, then second round against Enzo Couacaud. It was obviously never the easiest draw, like last week playing in Braunschweig against Casper Ruud. Those guys are let’s say standard ATP players and here and there you get good chances and don’t use them. So, it’s frustrating. And you know how tennis works, once you are in a great shape and beating those guys you can get back confidence pretty fast.”
Next, Klizan will take on the winner of the all-Serbian affair between No. 6 seed Laslo Djere and Filip Krajinovic. It will be the first tour-level meeting between the two.