HAMBURG, July 11, 2016
Main draw play got underway on a sunny Monday at the German Tennis Championships in Hamburg. Third seed Pablo Cuevas, who reached the semi-finals here in 2009 as a qualifier, returned to the Rothenbaum venue with a 24-12 match record in 2016.
The 30-year-old from Uruguay is putting together his best season on the ATP World Tour, winning back-to-back titles in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo and continues his successful path in the opening round in Hamburg, as he defeated German wild card and Halle champion Florian Mayer 6-4, 6-3. Cuevas sent down six aces, winning 89% of his service points to seal victory in one hour and 15 minutes without facing a break point.
“Unlucky draw. On clay, Pablo is an absolute top player. I didn’t really have a chance. He was just too good,” Mayer had to admit afterwards. “I will only practice for about three weeks and play a preparation tournament before the US Open,” the German veteran explained his further schedule for the upcoming weeks.
Cuevas will next take on Brazilian qualifier Thiago Monteiro. The 22-year-old from Rio de Janeiro ousted Mischa Zverev 7-6, 6-4 in 90 minutes.
Sixth favourite Nicolas Almagro had to go the distance against Czech qualifier Jan Satral, who captured his first Challenger crown in Marburg two weeks ago and now made his debut on the ATP World Tour. The 30-year-old Spaniard broke his opponent’s service three times and won 53% of the total points to prevail in one hour and 43 minutes. Almagro will next play Paul-Henri Mathieu. The world number 66 from France defeated Gerald Melzer 6-4, 7-6 in one hour and 41 minutes.
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Meanwhile on the outer courts, 17-year-old Marvin Moeller, who is 30-8 on the ITF Juniors Circuit this season, lost his very first match on senior’s level to Grega Zemlja 6-1, 6-2. The 29-year-old from Slovenia had no problems with the unranked teenager from Hamburg, saving all of the three break points he faced. Zemlja broke Moeller four times and finished the encounter after 62 minutes.
Moeller was not too sad with his performance. “It was a great experience,” the teenager said. Zemlja will either face the tournament’s number eight Guillermo Garcia-López or Kenny de Schepper in the second round.