KASSEL, July 19, 2017
Second seed Enrique López-Pérez from Spain was made to work hard for his place in the second round of the Wilhelmshöhe Open. The World No. 261 had to overcome 18-year-old Niklas Schell 7-6, 7-6 on Tuesday at the $25,000 ITF Futures in Kassel.
The German wild card entry, who appeared in his only fourth main draw on the ITF Pro Circuit, was leading 4-1 in the tie-break of the opening set as well as 6-4 in the second but couldn’t capitalize on his chances, as López-Pérez demonstrated his best tennis in the deciding moments. The 26-year-old Spaniard won 10 points more than his opponent in the end but was impressed by the performance of his opponent.
“He played very well. It was really tough today,” López-Pérez told after the two hours and 37 minutes fight on the clay court.
“He played perfectly,” Schell had to admit. The Wiesbaden resident captured the junior’s title of the German National Championships two times in the past but struggled with injuries in recent times. Although he couldn’t gain any ATP ranking point in Kassel this time, Tuesday’s decent performance will give him confidence for the future. Schell is part of the German Tennis Talent Team and is coached by Thomas Kilbert. He took away $260 in prize money.