PARIS, May 28, 2019
Rudolf Molleker fell to Alexander Bublik of Kazakhstan in the first round at Roland Garros on Monday afternoon. In a highly-entertaining encounter on Court 13, the 18-year-old German lost 5-7, 7-6(4), 1-6, 6-7(2) in two hours and 34 minutes.
“I didn’t feel well on court today, as I was sick over the last couple of days, suffering from fever,” Molleker told a group of German journalists on Monday evening. “I tried to rest but during the second set I felt problems to breathe normally. I also had to cough but I just didn’t want to give up, finishing the match.”
Bublik is known for his antics on the court, but also for his variety in his game, loving to hit drop shots and even underarm serves. Molleker had to cope with long and strength-sapping rallies. The young German didn’t seem to be amused about the Kazakh’s game style and revealed that he is not the biggest fan of Bublik.
“He is a disrespectful player in my eyes and not the most pleasant guy on the tour,” Molleker said. “It’s also hard for me to play against him, as he doesn’t give you any rhythm. However, if I had been fit today, the match could have gone in a different way.”
“I played some decent matches in the qualification,” Molleker took some positives from this week. “I am disappointed that I wasn’t able to be at 100 per cent today but I just kept fighting.”
The teenager still practices at the Mouratoglou Academy in Sophia Antipolis. Different coaches from the talent pool in Southern France accompany Molleker on the tour. “After Paris we decide, who will be my next regular coach.”
If his physical condition allows, Molleker will next play at the Poznan Open. During the grass-court season, he will enter the main draw of the Gerry Weber Open in Halle with a wild card.
“There are still some talks with the tournament in Stuttgart. The event brings back good memories, as I could gain my first match win on the ATP Tour there last year. I would really love to play there again.”