AUGSBURG, August 6, 2019 (by Dietmar Kaspar)
Tuesday’s second-round action at the Schwaben Open was headlined by the spectacular win of Benjamin Hassan against Lukas Rosol from the Czech Republic, the No. 5 seed of the €46,600 ATP Challenger event.
The 24-year-old German started with a service loss at the beginning of the match, coming back directly with the re-break. At the score of 4-4, Hassan broke his opponent’s serve to clinch the first set. After earning a break in the third game of the second set, the World No. 301 from Merzig stayed solid on serve to claim a 6-4, 6-4 victory after 66 minutes.
“I defeated him two months ago at the Challenger in Prostejov, so I knew how to play against him,” Hassan said after his win. “Faster surfaces are more favorable to his game. The goal was to move him a lot, getting him out of his comfort zone. I tried to hit a lot of angles, drop shots and slice.”
More second round action
Following the withdrawal of Italian No. 10 seed Roberto Macora, Argentine Facundo Mena faced lucky loser Niklas Guttau from Germany. Winning seven points more than his 19-year-old rival, the Buenos Aires native Mena clinched a 6-4, 7-5 win after one hour and 36 minutes. The 26-year-old will compete versus Benjamin Hassan in the third round.
Julian Lenz defeated Indian lucky loser N. Vijay Sundar Prashanth 7-5, 6-1. The 26-year-old German broke his opponent’s serve three times without facing a break point to prevail after 67 minutes.
Lenz will next take on No. 13 seed Mario Vilella Martinez, who started into the tournament with a win against Germany’s Peter Heller in straight sets. The 24-year-old Spaniard saved both break points he faced capitalizing on four of his own four chances to secure a 6-2, 6-2 win in 79 minutes.
Pedro Martinez from Spain opened his Schwaben Open campaign with a 7-5, 4-6, 7-6(4) victory over German Jeremy Jahn. The No. 6 seed finished the encounter after two hours and 46 minutes.
“I know Jeremy well. We are playing together in the German Bundesliga. He played great tennis in the last matches, so expected a tough match,” Martinez said.
Up next for Martinez will be Austrian No. 9 seed Sebastian Ofner, who was the first player to reach the stage of the last 16. On Court 1, the 23-year-old eased past Jurgen Zopp from Estonia in 65 minutes after winning 78 per cent of his first-service points. Ofner made it to the second round of the ATP 250 tournament in Kitzbühel last week, falling to World No. 4 Dominic Thiem.
Carlos Taberner continued his good run of form. The 21-year-old Spaniard eased past French Constant Lestienne winning 6-2, 6-1 in 67 minutes. Taberner will next compete versus his No. 7 seeded compatriot Guillermo Garcia-Lopez who beat Renzo Olivo from Argentina 7-6(2), 6-4.
Wessels opens first-round action
Centre Court action started with the all-German clash between Louis Wessels and Johannes Haerteis. Wessels, who entered the tournament with a wild card won two points more than his opponent to secure a 7-6(6), 7-5 victory in two hours and eight minutes. The 20-year-old will next challenge top seed Henri Laaksonen from Switzerland.
“It is always very difficult to play against a good friend. We know each other well and we have played against each other since we were 14 years old,” Wessels said.
Blancenaux continues on Challenger level
In the first match on Court 2, qualifier Geoffrey Blancaneaux sealed a straight-sets win against Adam Pavlasek from the Czech Republic. The 20-year-old French didn’t face a break point and converted three of his four break-point opportunities to earn a 6-1, 6-4 win, lasting one hour and 14 minutes. The three-time champion on the ITF World Tennis Tour this season benefited from the changes in the ATP and ITF Ranking system, rising about 50 positions to World No. 331.
“I served well in the first set and made good decisions on the court. In the second set I got one break, putting a lot of pressure on him with my service to finish the match,” Blancaneaux said.
Asked about the current ranking situation he said: „I am happy that I can enter main draws at ATP Challenger events with my new ranking. In the future I will play both Challengers and Futures to reach my goal, cracking the Top 100 quickly.”
Blancenaux will next take on Italian No. 3 seed Filippo Baldi in the second round.
More first round results
N. Sriram Balaji of India defeated German wild card entry Robert Strombach 6-1, 6-1 to meet No. 2 seed Matthias Bachinger of Germany.
German young gun Daniel Altmaier survived a tough three-set battle versus Sasikumar Mukund from India. Winning 79 per cent of his first-service points, 20-year-old Altmaier secured a 4-6, 6-1, 7-6 victory after two hours and 12 minutes. He will next play Austrian No. 16 seed Lucas Miedler.
Alex Molcan advanced to the second round by beating Dragos Dima from Romania. The 21-year-old Slovakian capitalized on four of his 12 break-point chances to prevail 6-2, 6-7(4), 6-4 after two hours and 13 minutes. Molcan will next oppose No. 15 seed Yannick Hanfmann of Germany.
A look ahead
Second-round action will continue on Wednesday headlined by the matches of the Top 3 seeded players. Play at the venue of the TC Augsburg Siebentisch will start at 11 a.m. For tickets, please visit the tournament’s website.