Kuhn Makes Successful Debut At Challenger Level

Nicola Kuhn (photo: mediaten/cittadino challenger)

MEERBUSCH, August 16, 2016

The ATP Challenger Tour has returned to Germany this week for the €42,500 Cittadino Challenger, held at the Sportpark Büderich in Meerbusch.

The first round concluded on Tuesday with only 16-year-old Nicola Kuhn celebrating a successful debut at Challenger level. The world number 1323 beat Argentine Juan Pablo Paz 6-4, 2-6, 6-2. Kuhn, who was born in Innsbruck and raised in Germany, has started to play under the Spanish flag since May 2016. The teenager practices at the Equelite Tennis Academy of former world number one Juan Carlos Ferrero and received a wild card for the tournament in Meerbusch, where he came back from a break down in the final set to seal victory in two hours and 15 minutes, setting a second round clash with top seed Florian Mayer.

The German veteran, who captured his second title of the season at the Tilia Slovenia Open in Portoroz last Saturday, eased past Aliaksandr Prudnikau 6-0, 6-3. Mayer won 81% of his first service points and broke his opponent’s serve six times to finish the encounter in only 49 minutes.

The tournament’s number two Roberto Carballés-Baena also prevailed. The world number 95 from Spain saved the only break point he faced, converting four of his own to secure a 6-0, 6-3 win over Russian qualifier Mikhail Elgin in 59 minutes. Carballés-Baena will next play German Jeremy Jahn.

Fourth favourite Steven Diez opened his campaign with a 6-1, 6-2 victory over German wild card Marvin Greven. The 25-year-old from Canada won 64% of the total points played to face Clement Geens next. Third seed Igor Sijsling retired in his match against Belarussian qualifier Andrei Vasilevski after only seven minutes with a finger luxation.