PULLACH, August 9, 2018
Jan-Lennard Struff headlined Thursday’s second round action at the Isar Open. The No. 1 seed of the €127,000 ATP Challenger clay-court event emerged victorious from the all-German affair with Mats Moraing, winning 6-4, 6-4.
Struff, who entered the main draw with a wild card, saved all four break points he faced, converting two of his own to secure victory in one hour and eight minutes.
“I didn’t achieve the results I was hoping for in Hamburg and Kitzbühel. That’s why I decided to play here. I made the decision ahead of my match in Kitzbühel. It is a big Challenger, where you can gain some good points and it was nice that Dominik Schulz (tournament director) reserved a wild card for me,” said Struff, who is competing at his first ATP Challenger event since Genova last year.
“There are a lot of good players here. You have to work hard for your wins. It’s great to have such a good Challenger in Germany. It’s very nice for German players to play at home and Munich is a great city. It’s organized very well. Dominik is doing a great job,” he commented.
Struff’s best results since April have come at the Grand Slams by reaching the third round at Wimbledon and second round at Roland Garros. He lost in the opening round at the ATP-events in Kitzbühel, Hamburg, Halle, Stuttgart.
“It feels good to win two matches in a row but I am also pleased with my season so far. I played a lot of tournaments this year. I only spent 36 days at home. Conditions here suit my game pretty well but I am also looking forward to the hard-court season, as this is my best surface.”
Next up, however, will be another match on the dirt, facing Argentine veteran Carlos Berlocq, who beat Tim Pütz 7-6(3), 7-5.
Sousa wins battle of the Iberians
Pedro Sousa from Portugal fought past Pedro Martínez of Spain 6-4, 1-6, 7-6(5). The 30-year-old from Lisbon, who finished runner-up to Andrej Martin in Liberec last week, capitalized on six of seven break point chances to finish an emotional encounter after one hour and 56 minutes.
“It was a big battle. It was very tough to play in these hot conditions. It’s difficult to play in a consistent way, as you get a bit tired sometimes,” Sousa told Tennis TourTalk aftewards. “I was serving for the match two times but was a bit luckier in the tie-break. That was key.”
Sousa already clinched one ATP Challenger title this season, lifting the trophy on home soil in Braga. “To win a tournament is always good. To do it at home is even better. I hope that I can add more titles this year.”
The World No. 166 enjoys his stay on the western bank of the River Isar. “It is a big new tournament. Conditions are perfect, so I like it very much here. I have been to Munich before. Two years ago I attended a football Champions League match of my team Benfica Lisbon against Bayern Munich. It’s nice to be back.”
Sousa still has to wait for his quarterfinal opponent, as the last match of the day between No. 2 seed Jiri Vesely from the Czech Republic and Belgian’s Kimmer Coppejans was suspended with Vesely leading 7-5, 0-1 due to rain. The encounter will resume on Friday.
Photo Gallery (by Florian Heer):