STUTTGART, June 10, 2015
Four second round matches were scheduled on Day 3 of the Mercedes Cup with two of Stuttgart’s four top-seeds in action.
Sam Groth caused the tournament’s second upset, following Mischa Zverev’s win over Dominic Thiem on Tuesday. The 27-year-old Australian knocked out third seed Feliciano López winning 3-6, 7-6, 7-6. The 33-year-old Spaniard saved all of his four break point he faced, but Groth was more solid in the tie-breaks. The world number 66 fired his 19th ace on match point to seal victory in two hours and seven minutes. Groth had the advantage playing his second grass court event of the season already, following his victory in Manchester last week.
“This is my first top 20, top15 win. It was pretty tight with two tie-breaks but I am happy. I feel good. I grew up on grass and won one Challenger last week. So grass suits my game. My coach also came up with good match plans and I hope that I can keep going,” Groth told afterwards, reaching his second quarterfinals of the season after Brisbane in the very first week.
The Australian will face Viktor Troicki next. The tournament’s number eight beat German wild card Alexander Zverev winning 6-3, 6-7, 6-3. The 18-year-old fought until the end of the match, saved two match points in the second set but only won 39% of his second service points. Troicki gained more break point opportunities and capitalized on three of his nine chances to seal victory in exactly two hours of play to reach his fourth quarterfinals of the season.
“I think it definitely should have been easier,” told Troicki. “I was a set and a break up and didn’t continue playing a good level. He used it and started playing better. The crowd gave him a bit more support. Also in the tie-break I was a bit unlucky on two match points. But that’s tennis on grass. It can go either way. He played a good tie-break in the end. In the third set I got my game back together. First and third set were really good!”
Fourth seed Gael Monfils defeated Andreas Haider-Maurer in two sets, both went into the decider. The French as well as the Austrian saved all of the three break points they faced with Monfils having the better in the tie-breaks. The world number 16 fired 18 aces winning 7-6, 7-6 in one hour and 27 minutes
Monfils will face Philipp Kohlschreiber next, who celebrated his second victory over Jerzy Janowicz in their third meeting, winning 6-4, 6-4. Germany’s number one withstood 12 aces and capitalized on three of his eight break points to serve out after one hour and 24 minutes.
“This was my day as a return player, as I was able to read his service very well. This was extremely important today, as Jerzy has a very powerful game,” told Kohlschreiber, who will meet Monfils for the twelfth time on the tour with the Frenchman leading 9-2 in head to head records. “It’s always interesting playing against him, sometimes even funny. Grass might not be his favourite surface, but he is a top-player with a lot of speed in his movements on the court. He also served pretty well today,” Kohlschreiber is looking forward to the encounter. The German’s last win came in 2013 in Stuttgart, back then still on clay, though.