STUTTGART, June 8, 2016
A rain interrupted Day 3 at the Mercedes Cup has come to an early end. Due to consistent rain, the highly expected match between top-seed Roger Federer and US-American teen Taylor Fritz was suspended in the late Wednesday afternoon with the Swiss leading 4-3 in the first set. Federer just broke Fritz’s serve before heavy showers started to flood the venue of the Tennis Club Weissenhof. Earlier the day, two second round matches could be completed.
The winner of the Federer/Fritz encounter will take on Florian Mayer, who emerged victorious from the all-German-affair with Stuttgart native Michael Berrer, winning 6-3, 3-6, 6-4. The 32-year-old withstood 10 aces, hitting nine of his own to prevail in one hour and 44 minutes.
“We were both pretty nervous today, so it wasn’t a high-class match but I am happy to clinch the win. I have alreday won four consecutive matches here in Stuttgart. I feel fit and I really enjoy playing on the grass,” told Mayer, who battled through the qualifying.
Philipp Kohlschreiber gained his second victory over Denis Kudla in as many meetings between the two, winning 7-5, 6-3. The 32-year-old local, who dismissed the US-American youngster in Indian Wells earlier this season, capitalized on his second break point to secure the opening set in the 12th game. The German was quicker in the second set, earning the break in the second game but lost his serve in the seventh, gifted with his third double fault. Kohlschreiber was aggressive on his returns and could gain another lead in the following to serve the match out after one hour and 16 minutes.
“It was a good match against an opponent, who plays well on grass. So I am happy to get through,” Kohlschreiber was pleased with his performance.
“I was very concentrated in general but struggled a bit towards the end of the match, which bothered me of course. Yet, I was able to gain the re-break and closed it out with the third or fourth match point,” the seventh seed explained, being happy to be back on German soil. Kohlschreiber has already captured his fifth title in his home country, winning the BMW Open in Munich this year and also made it to the stage of the final eight in Stuttgart 2015.
“It’s always great to play in front of the home crowd. It was a great atmosphere on court, in particular at the end of the match. The spectators were rewarded with some exciting rallies. It’s the time when emotions are coming up and eventually help you to win. I am happy to reach the quarterfinals in such a strong tournament. Semis would be the next goal but of course I’d like to claim the title. The opponents, however, will get even stronger, we will see what will be possible for me.”
Play resumes on Thursday at 11 a.m. local time with Dominic Thiem opening his Stuttgart campaign against Sam Groth. The match between Federer and Fritz will follow on center court.