MUNICH, May 1, 2018
Local favourite Philipp Kohlschreiber opened his title bid at the BMW Open by FWU on May Day with a comfortable 7-5, 6-4 win over big-serving Croat Ivo Karlovic on a packed Centre Court.
The No. 6 seed from Germany, who is making his 10th straight and 14th overall appearance in Munich this week, withstood 15 aces, hitting six of his own and broke his opponent twice to prevail after one hour and 16 minutes.
“I am happy. I expected a tough challenge against an opponent, who does not give you any rhythm,” Kohlschreiber explained. “I had a good feeling on the court today and I tried to be aggressive, as the balls bounce pretty high due to the altitude. When you force him to move, then you can maybe see that he has become a bit older and will have his problems.”
Kohlschreiber earned 30+ wins and enjoyed Top 50 finishes in each of the last 11 seasons. The key to Kohlschreiber’s success has come in Germany, where he is 116-61 compared to 314-271 elsewhere. The 34-year-old won the title here in Munich in 2007, 2012, and 2016.
“I enjoyed playing out there today. The court as well as the support from the crownd was great,” said Kohlschreiber, who will next take on fellow German Mischa Zverev, who beat Andreas Haider-Maurer of Austria 6-4, 6-3.
Monfils, Fognini fall
Gael Monfils suffered another early exit in Munich. The No. 7 seed from France lost to Mirza Basic of Bosnia and Herzegovina 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 in the pair’s first tour meeting. Basic sent down six aces, winning 80 per cent of his first service points to advance in one hour and 36 minutes. Monfils is now 1-4 in Bavaria’s capital city. The 26-year-old from Sarajevo will next play 2014 champion Martin Klizan.
Fabio Fognini also fell in the first round. The fifth favourite from Italy lost to his compatriot and Sunday’s champion of the Hungarian Open, Marco Cecchinato, 7-5, 3-6, 2-6. The final match of the day lasted one hour and 49 minutes.
Elsewhere on Court 1, Yannick Maden rallied past No. 8 seed Yuichi Sugita of Japan 4-6, 7-6, 6-2. The 28-year-old German saved two match points in the tie-break of the second set to secure victory in two hours and 54 minutes.
“It was a very exhausting match. I took an early lead but was not able to capitalize on it. In the second set, I had a lot of break point chances but couldn’t convert. A tie-break is always close and can go either ways,” Maden was pleased after his biggest win in his career.
“It was an amazing experience today, enjoying the great atmosphere on court. Playing in front of my family and friends is always special.” Maden, who is currently sitting on a career high World No. 119, will next face fellow German Jan-Lennard Struff.
Photo Gallery (by Florian Heer):