Mikael Ymer Powers Past Molleker Into Murcia Open Semis

Mikael Ymer advances to the semi-finals in Murcia

MURCIA, April 12, 2019

Mikael Ymer headlined Friday’s quarterfinal action at the inaugural €46,600 Murcia Open. The 20-year-old from Sweden showed an impressive performance, edging out No. 9 seeded teenager Rudolf Molleker.

In the pair’s second meeting, Ymer set the tone early, gaining two breaks for a 3-0 lead. The 18-year-old German needed some time to find his rhythm and fought back to even score at 5-5. However, Ymer was the more solid player in the decisive moments and took the first set in the 12th game. From then on, Ymer was in cruise mode. The World No. 200 won 79 per cent of his first service points to secure a 7-5, 6-0 victory in one hour and 13 minutes.

“We played before in Pullach and he is a great player,” Ymer told Tennis TourTalk after his second win over Molleker. “I thought a lot about it but it’s difficult to come up with a straight game plan against a player like him. The most important thing today was my mental performance. I was very stable. That helped me a lot. I was moving very well, got a lot of balls back, which was the key today.”

Ymer had a good start into the season, celebrating his maiden ATP Challenger Tour title in Nouméa in the first week of January. “This has been my best start into a new season so far. The title gave me some confidence, which also led to set new goals. When you have won one tournament, you want to win another. That’s how it works. You are not happy unless you win the event. Of course it’s one match at a time, but so far so good this week.”

Next up for the younger of the Ymer Brothers will be Tallon Griekspoor of the Netherlands, who battled past No. 6 seeded Italian Salvatore Caruso 7-6(4), 6-4 in one hour and 49 minutes.

Coppejans survives Zapata Miralles

In the opening match of the day, Kimmer Coppejans of Belgium rallied past Bernabé Zapata Miralles of Spain 1-6, 7-6(8), 7-5 to reach his first quarterfinal on the ATP Challenger Tour since lifting the Copa Sevilla trophy in September last year. The No. 13 seed, who enjoyed some support from his two sisters and a couple of Belgian fans in the stands, was 6-0 up in the tie-break of the second set but had to save two match points in the following to eventually close the match out in the third. The topsy-turvy encounter lasted two hours and 11 minutes.

“It was a very tough match, in particular in the first set when I was bullied by him,” Coppejans told Tennis TourTalk afterwards. “I made me move a lot and hit a lot of winners. I wasn’t really able to keep up with him but I managed to change my game in the following. I started to play aggressive tennis, stepping into the court as soon as I could. That was key to win the match.”

What happened in the tie-break? “I was 6-0 up but suddenly he started to hit winner after winner. I missed on return of serve at 6-3 when the ball bounced awkwardly and hit my frame and my racket flew out of my hand. Then he hit two more winners. I think that I wasn’t really to blame on my set points, as I was actually doing things as I had done before. He just played well but I stayed calm. It was a pretty weird match and I am happy to get through.” 

Coppejans will next take on the tournament’s No. 2 seed Roberto Carballés Baena, who emerged victorious from the all-Spanish affair with Enrique López-Pérez, winning 6-1, 6-7(3), 7-6(2) in two hours and 38 minutes.

“We played twice before and we are even in head-to-head records,” Coppejans said of his upcoming opponent. “I have been playing quite well for a while now but it hasn’t translated into results yet. I am happy to get to the semis. I hope that I can have another two more wins here.”

In Saturday’s doubles final top seeds Marcus Daniell of New Zealand and David Marrero from Spain will face Rameez Junaid of Australia and Belarussian Andrei Vasilevski.

Photo Gallery (by Florian Heer):