SCHWIEBERDINGEN, January 11, 2017
Top seed Petr Michnev headlined Wednesday’s first round action of the $15,000 Südwestbank Tennis Grand Prix, held at the TennisKing Academy in Schwieberdingen. The World No. 289 from the Czech Republic fought past German qualifier Jannis Kahlke, winning 3-6, 6-2, 6-1.
After a slow the start, Michnev began to find his rhythm in the second set. The 27-year-old, who advanced to the semi-finals last year falling to eventual champion Daniel Masur, sent down 13 aces and broke his opponent’s serve four times to prevail in one hour and 31 minutes. Next up for Michnev will be another Czech in person of David Poljak.
Neil Pauffley could turn into the tournament’s dark horse. The 29-year-old Brion opened his Schwieberdingen campaign with a 7-6, 6-0 victory over Russian qualifier Matvey Khomentovskiy. Pauffly, who ended the year 2016 by claiming the Aegon British Tour Masters title in Loughborough, won 71 per cent of his first service points and capitalized on five of his nine break point opportunities to advance in one hour and 23 minutes.
“Very pleased with my performance and felt sharp on court,” Pauffley told via social media.
The World No. 640 Slough native has been staying in Germany for a couple of weeks, being a team member of the Bremer Tennis Club to compete in the Nordliga. Pauffley lifted five ITF career titles, three of them on indoor carpet and two on German soil, winning the Dittelbrunn Open in 2012 and 2013.
The unseeded will next take on the tournament’s number seven Tobias Simon. The 25-year-old German saw off Croatian qualifier Fran Zvonimir Zgombic 6-3, 1-6, 6-3 in one hour and 43 minutes. The two Swedes in the main draw also found their way into the second round. Sixth favourite Patrik Rosenholm beat Johannes Haerteis of Germnay 6-4, 7-5 to take on local player Jan Choinski next, and eighth seed Isak Arvidsson benefited from the retiremnet of German wild card Tim Ruehl, leading 5-1 in the opening set. Arvidsson will play Janis Podzus from Latvia next.