MUNICH, May 4, 2017
The top half of the draw at the BMW Open by FWU was in second round action on a chilly Thursday in Munich, highlighted by the return of Gael Monfils to the ATP World Tour.
The top seed competed in his first match since March 15, when he fell to Dominic Thiem at the ATP Masters 1000 in Indian Wells. Monfils faced with Korean youngster Hyeon Chung a tough opponent to start his campaign in Bavaria. The 20-year-old moved well on the court, saved all three break points he faced and converted three of his own chances.
After the match had been suspended at 6-2, 3-3 due to rain for almost 90 minutes, Chung gained the decisive break right after play resumed in the seventh game to secure a 6-2, 6-4 victory in one hour and 12 minutes.
“I didn’t play my best tennis today but that’s what can happen when you are away from the court for a long time,” Monfils told afterwards.
Asked for the positives he can take from these days here in Munich, the Frenchman answered: “That I am back on the court. It is always nice to come back to the tour. Unfortunately, I had a lot of misshits today. I struggled to find my rhythm but also credits to my opponent, who played a solid match.”
Next up for Chung will be 2014 Munich champion Martin Klizan. The 27-year-old Slovakian knocked off the tournament’s number six Mischa Zverev of Germany, winning 6-2, 6-1.
Klizan won 88 per cent of his first service points and broke serve four times to appear in his fourth quarterfinal of the season on Friday. The encounter lasted only 49 minutes.
Earlier the day, defending champion Philipp Kohlschreiber and Horacio Zeballos from Argentina opened center court action. The in-form-Argentine, who advanced to the semi-finals of the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell last week, clinched his first victory over the German in his fifth attempt, winning 7-6, 6-4.
Zeballos withstood 13 aces from the fifth seed, hitting eight of his own. The World No. 63 from Buenos Aires saved all of the three break points he faced, converting one of his own to prevail after one hour and 38 minutes.
“I felt good during the rallies but struggled with my returns, as he served exceptionally well today,” Kohlschreiber had to admit. “He played a steady match and put a lot of variety in his shots.”
Understandably, the 33-year-old local favourite was disappointed to leave his home tournament at early stage. Kohlschreiber is a three-time Munich champion and five-time finalist.
“The plan was to get a bit deeper in the draw here,” Kohlschreiber was honest. “The intention was to skip Madrid, as it was pretty stressful in recent years to get from Munich to Spain within a short space of time. Now I will have to reconsider this decision.”
The World No. 39 added that he is going to play the ATP Masters in Rome for sure followed by the French Open.
Zeballos will stay in Munich taking on Guido Pella in the quarterfinals. The Argentine qualifier eased past fourth favourite Fabio Fognini, winning 6-3, 6-2 in only 66 minutes.
Tennis Meets Golf
In the course of launching the BMW International Open in Golf, held in Munich in June, Roberto Bautista-Agut and Tommy Haas took to court in a special exhibition alongside golf professional Florian Fritsch from Germany and BMW driver Bruno Spengler.
In a half-way tennis and half-way-golf competition, the team of Haas and Spengler emerged victorious.
“It wasn’t my first time playing golf, but I do not play that often,” Bautista-Agut told afterwards but seemed to really enjoy the side-event. 10 minutes later, however, he was back on the clay for his next proper tennis practice session.