Hanfmann Sets Up Zverev Clash In Munich

Yannick Hanfmann advances to the second round in Munich (photo: Florian Heer)

MUNICH, April 30, 2018

The ATP World Tour is sliding into spring and a trio of clay-court events takes place this week in Estoril, Istanbul and Munich. Main draw action got underway on Monday at the 2018 BMW Open by FWU headlined by three German players.

Yannick Hanfmann opened Centre Court action with a comfortable 6-2, 6-4 win over Marcos Baghdatis. The 26-year-old, who enjoyed a fantastic run in Bavaria’s capital last year by reaching the quarterfinals, was in control of the first round match. He didn’t face a break point and capitalized on three of his own chances to advance in just under one hour of play.

“I am very pleased with my performance today. It maybe got a bit tougher towards the end but I played pretty solid overall,” Hanfmann told afterwards. “I would say that my game has improved compared to last year, when the tournament here was a milestone in my career.”

Later in 2017, the Karlsruhe native advanced to his first title match on the ATP World Tour, finishing runner-up to Fabio Fognini at the Swiss Open in Gstaad. Towards the end of the season, he lifted his maiden trophy on the ATP Challenger Tour at the inaugural Wolffkran Open in Ismaning.

“Due to my good results last year, I played different tournaments in 2018. Unfortunately, I had to suffer a couple of first-round losses but with every match that I am playing, my confidence is growing and I hope to get back to my rhythm.”

The upcoming match, however, will be big challenge, as Hanfmann will be the first opponent for Alexander Zverev, when the World No. 3 will open his title defence on Wednesday. “This will be really tough but I am looking forward to the match,” said Hanfmann before his first ever encoutner against a top-10-player.

“Alex is a couple of years younger than me, so I will build on my experience,” the 26-year-old underdog was joking.

Hanfmann will be joined by his compatriots Matthias Bachinger and 2014 champion Martin Klizan in the second round. Bachinger fought past Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazahkstan 7-6, 3-6, 6-3. The wild card entry fired 10 aces, winning 72 per cent of his first service points to prevail after two hours and 42 minutes.

“I am tired but happy right now. I had a lot of fun out there today,” Bachinger told. “This is my home tournament, the crowd supported me and it means a lot to me.”

Bachinger, who made his first appearance in Munich 2004, will next take on #NextGenATP champion Hyeon Chung of Korea.

“He will be the favourite but he also has to handle the pressure. I played very well today and so I think that I will have my chances against him. It will be tough but I am looking forward to the match.”

In the final match of the day, Klizan battled past Florian Mayer 4-6, 6-4, 6-3. The 28-year-old from Slovakia came back from two breaks down in the final set to secure victory in exactly two hours of play. Next up for Klizan will be either Mirza Basic or No. 7 seed Gael Monfils.