MANACOR, August 30, 2018
The long-running “war” between German and British tourists in Mallorca, about claiming the best sunbeds by the pool by leaving a beach towel on it, has been the subject of many jokes. On Thursday afternoon, it was a battle on the tennis court between two former top 60 players, as Daniel Brands and Daniel Evans met in the second round of the Rafa Nadal Open Banc Sabadell in Manacor.
Brands emerged victorious, winning 6-4, 7-6(6). The 31-year-old German broke his opponent three times to prevail afater one hour and 49 minutes.
“I knew that it would become a very tough match out there for me today,” Brands told Tennis TourTalk. “I had to finish every points almost twice. I was more aggressive and had a bit more luck towards the end. I am happy with the result.
Match with sideshows
Evans had a couple of disputes with umpire Poncho Ayala during the encounter, which didn’t make it easy for the German to keep his focus on the tennis.
“It’s not easy to blank his antics completely out but I tried to concentrate on my game as good as possible. It might be entertaining for the spectators to watch, so it’s nice to have that kind of players on the tour as well.”
Brands: Getting back to his best
Brands, who enjoyed his best season in 2013 but suffered from Mononucleosis four years ago and had to cope with a knee injury in recent times, is slowly getting back to his best. The Deggendorf native captured his first title in six years at the ATP Challenger in Recanati, Italy, last month and finished runner-up to Sebastian Ofner in Astana, Kazakhstan, the week afterwards.
“I started with competitive tennis again at the beginning of this year and played a couple of smaller tournaments. The last years were not easy but the title in Italy helped me to gain confidence from it. So I learnt that I can still win bigger events. This is very helpful,” explained Brands, who still practices in Munich but has started to work with coach Alexander Satschko since the beginning of the year. Frederic Arlt from Landshut joins the current World No. 213 on the tour.
Great facilities at Rafa Nadal Academy
Brands has been to Mallorca for the first time since he was a kid and enjoys his time at the Rafa Nadal Academy.
“We are very lucky to play this Challenger event here. The venue is great, you can find everything you need: a gym, pádel courts and you can enjoy an ice bath after your matches. Rafa was probably involved into the construction of the complex and he knows what players need,” said Brands.
“The accomodation here is very good. The rooms are spacious and it is very pleasant to only have short ways from and to the courts. On the other hand, life in a camp can also turn your mind. So my coach and I decided to go out for dinner in Porto Cristo yesterday, just to see some different things.”
Next up for Brands will be Frenchman Kenny de Schepper, who knocked off No. 4 seed Sergiy Stakhovsky of the Ukraine 6-2, 6-4 in one hour and 15 minutes.
“I know him. He is also a big player and I guess that our match will be dominated by our serves. He is a left-hander, which does not make it easier but I am looking forward to another tough match.” Brands won the only previous meeting between the two at the ATP Challenger in Helsinki seven years ago.
Fabbiano eases into quarterfinals
Top seed Thomas Fabbiano also found his way into the stage of the final eight. The World No. 110 from Italy remained untroubled against Germany’s Oscar Otte, winning 6-0, 6-2 in only 61 minutes. Fabbiano will face with Matthias Bachinger another German player next. The 27-year-old Munich resident benefited from the retirement of Tobias Simon after taking the opening set 6-1.
Wild card entry Nicola Kuhn knocked out No. 3 seed Ramkumar Ramanathan of India 6-7(4), 7-6(2), 6-4. The 18-year-old Spaniard withstood 18 aces and saved all seven break points he faced, converting one of his own 11 chances to secure victory in two hours and 50 minutes. Next up for the teenager will be compatriot Enrique López-Pérez.
Bernard Tomic continues his good run of form in Mallorca beating Pedro Cachín of Argentina 6-2, 6-4 in 69 minutes. The 25-year-old Australian will next take on Norbert Gombos of Slovakia.