STUTTGART, June 10 ,2016
Philipp Kohlschreiber is the last German standing at the Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart by gaining his only second victory over Radek Stepanek on Friday afternoon. The seventh seed from Germany sent down 10 aces, saved all five break points he faced and converted two of his own to advance in one hour and 41 minutes, winning 6-4, 7-5.
“It is always tough to play against Radek. He seems to read my game pretty well. It was a tense match with a couple of great shots, but also some bad shots. I tried to play a bit different, putting more variety in my service, taking more risk on the second serve and I was mentally strong in the crucial moments, which was key today,” Kohlschreiber told.
“I had three solid matches here. Maybe I haven’t had improved during the week but it is important to win. So far, I have played my best in the deciding moments. I hope to play tomorrow in a free, relaxed way, as I already met the minimum goal here by reaching the final weekend.”
Kohlschreiber will take on Juan Martin Del Potro, who fought past Gilles Simon 6-7, 6-3, 6-0 in the final match of the day. Stuttgart’s 2008 champion saved both break points he faced, converting four of his own to serve the match out after two hours and four minutes.
“I am really glad to go through. I served well and didn’t give up in order to play another match here in Stuttgart. The atmosphere was great and the crowd really helped today. I maybe even found some new fans here,” Del Potro told with a smile, reaching his second semi-final of the season. The 27-year-old Argentine will face Kohlschreiber for the eighth time, leading 6-1 in head to head records.
“He beat me in Munich a couple of weeks ago, but tomorrow will be another match on a different surface. We will see what’s going to happen.”