KAARST, January 29, 2018
Six German players have qualified for the main draw of the $15,000 Kirschbaum International powered by Neusser REHA, held at Tespo Sportpark in Kaarst this week.
Monday’s final round of the qualifying was headlined by local favourite Tom Schönenberg from Düsseldorf’s Rochus Club, who rallied past Bart van den Berg from the Netherlands 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 in two hours and two minutes. The 26-year-old will now face Remi Boutillier of France.
Nikolas Walterscheid-Tukic from Cologne upset the No. 4 seed of the qualifying, Hugo Valjacques from France, 6-1, 6-1. The unranked German capitalized on five of his nine break point chances to reach his first main draw since August last year in Eupen, Belgium.
“Nikolas showed a convincing performance, was quick on his feed and played pretty smart,” tournament director Marc Raffel commented. Walterscheid-Tukic will next take on Botic van de Zandschulp from the Netherlands.
The two Germans will be joined by compatriots Kai Wehnelt, Alexander Kürschner, Christoph Negritu and Dominik Böhler in the main draw. The latter will challenge No. 2 Petr Michnev from the Czech Republic in the opening round.
World No. 282 and actual top seed of the tournament, Christopher Heyman from Belglium, who finished runner-up last week in Nußloch, was forced to withdraw from the event. The line-up is now led by Juan Pablo Ficovich of Argentina, who will open his title bid against Frenchman Mick Lescure.
“There are many players, who can win the tournament. The 32-man field seems pretty even. I am looking forward to an exciting week,” Raffel told.