AUGSBURG, August 7, 2019 (by Dietmar Kaspar)
Second round action of the €46,600 Schwaben Open continued Wednesday with changeable weather and some rain delays at the venue of the TC Augsburg Siebentisch.
In the first match on Court 2, Finnish young gun Emil Ruusuvuori faced Bernabe Zapata Miralles from Spain, who entered the tournament on position 14. Ruusuvuori rallied from 1-3 down in the first, winning the next five games to claim the first set. After earning a break in the ninth game of the second set, 22-year-old Zapata Miralles pushed the match the distance. The 20-year-old from Helsinki gained the decisive break in the third game of the final set to secure a 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 win after one hour and 52 minutes.
“The match was tougher than in the first round,” Ruusuvuori said. “Bernabe is a good player, running very quickly and using the angles. In the second set I had my chances, but he played really good shots and took the set. In the third set I played my aggressive game to win the match.”
Ruusuvuori will next take on the tournament’s top seed Henri Laaksonen, who was born in Finland, representing Switzerland now. The World No. 123 opened his title bid on Centre Court against German wild card entry Louis Wessels. Laaksonen won 79 per cent of his first-service points to prevail after 67 minutes by the score of 6-2, 6-4.
“I know him very well, he has been practising in Finnland, too,” Ruusuvuori commented on his upcoming opponent. “It will be our first match on the tour, so we will see“.
Bachinger to face Hanfmann
Tournament’s No. 2 Matthias Bachinger from Germany started into the competition a 6-4, 6-1 win against Indian qualifier N. Sriram Balaji. The 32-year-old Munich native broke his opponent’s serve three times without facing a break point. Bachinger will next take on countryman Yannick Hanfmann.
The No. 15 seed battled past Alex Molcan from Slovakia in three sets. After losing the first set, the 27-year-old German dominated the match in the following to celebrate a 4-6, 6-2, 6-4 victory after one hour and 46 minutes.
Vanneste establishes at Challenger level
ITF-entry Jeroen Vanneste caused the upset of the day by knocking out British No. 11 seed Jay Clarke, 6-3, 6-2. The 21-year-old Belgian capitalized on four of his five break-point opportunities to advance after 67 minutes.
“I played really well today. I like the conditions at this altitude. The ball bounces very high, I always practice with this Tecnifibre balls when I am at home. I was more aggressive than him and I had the time to do it my way,” a happy Vanneste said.
The World No. 321 will play Manuel Guinard in the third round. The 23-year-old French benefited from the retirement of German No. 8 seed Mats Moraing. At the beginning of the deciding set, 27-year-old Moraing made a bad move that forced him to withdraw with a knee injury at the score of 4-6, 7-5, 2-1.
Altmaier waiting for his opponent
Youngster Daniel Altmaier, who entered the competition with a wild card, had to compete against Austrian No. 16 seed Lucas Miedler. The 20-year-old German won 79 per cent of his first-service points to seal a 6-3, 6-3 win after 74 minutes.
Altmaier will face the winner of the encounter between Geoffrey Blancaneaux from France and Italian No. 3 seed Filippo Baldi, which was suspended in the tie-break of the first set due to rain.
A look ahead
Thursday’s Round of 16 action will be headlined by the matches of the top two seeded players Henri Laksonen and Matthias Bachinger. Play in Augsburg will start at 11 a.m. For more information, please visit the tournament’s website.