METZ, September 20, 2016
Dustin Brown headlined first round action at the €520,070 Moselle Open in Metz on Tuesday evening. The 31-year-old German, who is a career-high number 68 in the Emirates ATP Rankings after playing in the 15th ATP Challenger Tour final of his 15-year career at the Szczecin Open last Sunday, defeated Paul-Henri Mathieu 6-4, 6-2.
Coming from outdoor clay, Brown adapted well to the indoor conditions, overpowering the French veteran with strong baseline shots and a solid net game. He converted his first match point with his 28th winner, firing a forehand down the line after only 51 minutes.
“I played well here in the past and won my first doubles title with Rogier Wassen in 2010. It is nice to come back and I am happy with this win today,” Brown told during the on-court interview. When asked about his top ranking, he told:
“It is my highest ranking so far. I have been playing well all year. I just needed to find myself a little bit, staying calm and not being too upset by a double fault for example. If i can play like this, I can be very dangerous.” Brown will next face Julien Benneteau, who knocked out the fifth seed Martin Klizan on Monday.
Seventh favourite Benoite Paire suffered his fifth defeat against a player ranked outside the top 100. The world number 38 lost to French qualifier Vincent Millot 4-6, 3-6. The 30-year-old from Montpellier won 61 of the total 114 points played to advance in 66 minutes. Next up for Millot will be either Malek Jaziri or Ivan Dodig.
Guillermo Garcia-López set a second round clash with fourth seed Gilles Simon. The world number 57 from Spain fought past Damir Dzumhur from Bosnia and Herzegovina, winning 5-7, 6-2, 6-1. Garcia-López lost his serve four times but capitalized on seven of his own 12 break point chances to secure victory in one hour and 38 minutes.
Nikoloz Basilashvili emerged victorious from the battle of the qualifiers with Gregoire Barrere, rallying 5-7, 7-5, 6-2. The 24-year-old from Georgia broke his opponent’s serve five times to finish the encounter in two hours and one minute. Basilashvili will next take on the tournament’s number six Gilles Muller.
In the opening match on Court Patrice Dominguez, Peter Gojowczyk fought past Nicolas Almagro 6-4, 6-7, 6-3 in the pair’s first tour meeting. The 27-year-old German has qualified for his first main draw on the ATP World Tour since Stuttgart last year by beating Julien Dubail and Thomas Fabbiano. Gojowczyk withstood 27 aces, hitting 22 of his own to celebrate his first match win at tour-level since Chennai 2015 after one hour and 51 minutes. The world number 209 will next play the tournament’s top seed Dominic Thiem. Gojowczyk won the only previous meeting between the two in Doha 2014.