STUTTGART, June 13, 2019
Top seed Alexander Zverev fell in his opening match of the MercedesCup. The World No. 5 from Germany lost to his compatriot Dustin Brown 6-4, 6-7(3), 6-3 in the second round on a sunny Thursday afternoon in Stuttgart.
Brown, who battled through the qualifying, withstood 21 aces from Zverev, firing 11 of his own to prevail after exactly two hours play.
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“I had little control and he played well. That’s just Dustin. Many good players lost against him on grass, so I do not worry so much about it. I hope to come back to Stuttgart and then play better,” Zverev summarized the outcome.
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“I am very, very happy,” said Brown, who had not recorded a tour-level win prior to this week since the 2017 US Open . “I didn’t have a good grass-court swing last year and just wanted to come and play very good tennis. Stuttgart is a little bit at altitude and I think that helped my game. I’ve won three very good matches, two in qualifying and one against [John] Millman. The court played a little slower today and it was tough especially against Alex, who is a very good returner. So I had to make a lot of first serves and the break in the first set helped me to gain confidence.”
Up next for Brown will be Canadian teenager Felix Auger-Aliassime. The 18-year-old Montreal native defeated French veteran Gilles Simon 7-5, 6-4 in one hour and 30 minutes.
Earlier in the day, Matteo Berrettini knocked out Karen Khachanov of Russia, the tournament’s No. 2, winning 6-4, 6-2. The 23-year-old Italian didn’t face a break point, converting three of his own five chances to secure victory in one hour and eight minutes. Berrettini will play US-American Denis Kudla in the quarterfinals. The unseeded Kudla from Virginia, battled past No. 5 seed Gael Monfils of France 7-5, 6-7(3), 7-6(3). Kudla won 53 per cent of the total points played to advance in two hours and 18 minutes.