MUNICH, April 24, 2016
Chilly air is streaming into Germany and some Munich resident was probably astonished to see some snowflakes falling down on Sunday morning. Nonetheless, well-equipped and with changeovers kept as brief as possible, the brave competitors stepped into action for the final day of the qualifying at the BMW Open by FWU AG.
At temperatures below 10 C but also with a couple of sunny spells, Igor Sijsling downed in-form-Slovakian Jozef Kovalik, who just captured the ATP Challenger in Napoli, 7-6, 6-3 to advance to his first tour-level main draw since Wimbledon 2015. The world number 133 from the Netherlands won 71% of his first service points and converted four of his seven break point chances to prevail in one hour and 19 minutes.
Meanwhile on centre court, two players with a pretty unorthodox style of tennis went head to head, as Florian Mayer took on Vincent Millot for the first time. The 32-year-old German overcame the French leftie, winning 7-5, 4-6, 6-4 to reach his first main draw since the US-Open last year.
“It’s not easy to serve a match out after eight months of injury. I was really nervous towards the end of the match but I am happy to eventually gain the win,” Mayer was relieved afterwards.
“I have to be realistic. The top guys are in a class of its own but I am able to keep the pace with players here in the qualification, which usually compete on Challenger level and are ranked about position 100,” Munich’s 2011 runner-up is pleased with his performance.
“Five years ago, it was a bitter defeat against Davydenko but it is always nice to come back here to Munich.”
The all-German-affair between Tobias Kamke and Matthias Bachinger had even been temporarily suspended due to snowfall before the latter secured a 7-5, 6-1 victory. Bachinger fired nine aces and broke his opponent’s serve four times to finish the encounter after one hour and 14 minutes.
In the last match of the day, Cedric-Marcel Stebe rallied past Nils Langer, winning 2-6, 7-6, 6-4. The 25-year-old wild card won 51% of the total points to prevail in two hours and 28 minutes. Stebe will appear in his first main draw match on tour-level since he lost to Roger Federer in the second round at the Gerry Weber Open in Halle.
The tournament’s main attraction Juan Martin Del Potro had an early practice session with Ivan Dodig. The “Tower of Tandil” will take on Dustin Brown to open his Munich campaign.
The 2009 US-Open champion will step into action on Tuesday alongside Alexander Zverev facing Malek Jaziri, who beat the German teenager in Barcelona this week. Alexander and his brother Mischa took a day off visiting the BMW Driving Academy in Maisach on Sunday. The Zverevs had a test ride with a BMWi8, this year winner’s car at the International Tennis Championships of Bavaria.
“It was a great experience today. Racing and tennis have much in common. When you are in a car or on the court, you have to rely on yourself but at the same time you also have large team supporting you,” told Alexander Zverev after his drive.
“I am a young driver and I still have to learn a lot of things. I will come back for sure,” the teenager added.
Finally, best practice outfit award went to Denis Istomin. The world number 73 from Tashkent, who will face Lukas Rosol in his first round match, battled the cold weather with ski cap and long underwear during his morning training session. It is to be hoped that he will be able to leave his special clothes in the closet the next week – but forecast looks dodgy.