Upsets Kick Off Koblenz Open Main Draw

Benjamin Hassan (photo: Koblenz Open)

KOBLENZ, January 16, 2018

Top seed Andrey Kuznetsov of Russia fell in the opening round at the €43,000 Koblenz Open. The World No. 125 lost to Ilya Ivashka from Belarus 4-6, 6-4, 3-6 on Tuesday afternoon.

Ivashka fired 14 aces, winning 79 per cent of his first service points to prevail after one hour and 56 minutes. The 23-year-old from Minsk awaits the winner of the encounter between Belgian qualifier Christopher Heyman and Karim-Mohamed Maamoun of Egypt in the second round.

Wild Card Entries Advance

German wild card entry Benjamin Hassan won a rollercoaster match against former Top 10-player Ernests Gulbis from Latvia 6-4, 3-6, 6-1. The 22-year-old, who is currently ranked on a career high World No. 529 capitalized on three of his 12 break point opportunities to seal victory in one hour and 43 minutes. Next up for Hassan will be sixth seed Kenny de Schepper from France, who rallied past Russia’s Teymuraz Gabashvili 6-7, 6-1, 6-2.

Later in the evening, atmosphere heated even more up when Koblenz native Jan Choinski knocked out Spanish veteran and former World No. 5 Tommy Robredo 6-1, 5-7, 7-6. The 21-year-old German, who opened the season with a second round loss at the ITF Pro Circuit event in Schwieberdingen last week, withstood 16 aces, hitting five of his own to advance after two hours and 24 minutes.

Choinski will next take on either Mohamed Safwat from Egypt or Slovakian qualifier Filip Horansky.