HALLE, June 17, 2019
The top players of the ATP Tour continue the grass-court season at the NOVENTI Open in Halle this week. Alexander Zverev, No. 2 seed of the ATP 500 event, shook off an opening loss last week at Stuttgart by winning 6-4, 7-5 against Robin Haase from the Netherlands on Monday afternoon.
The two-time runner-up at Halle in 2016 and 2017 struck 12 aces and won 71 per cent of his first service points to advance in one hour and 45 minutes.
Super start from Sascha 👏👏
The No. 2 seed defeats Haase 6-4, 7-5 to make the @ATPHalle 2R 💪
— ATP Tour (@ATP_Tour) 17. Juni 2019
“Robin is an incredible player. It is always tricky to play against him. He returns well. I am happy to be through in straight sets,” Zverev said.
The 22-year-old German will next play US-American Steve Johnson, who defeated local favourite Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-3, 6-3. Johnson won the only previous meeting with Zverev 7-6, 7-6 in the second round of the 2016 Miami Open.
“Of course it’s disappointing to lose in the first round. Especially at a tournament where you had very good performances in the past,” Kohlschreiber said.
Karen Khachanov also booked his spot in the second round in Westphalia. The No. 3 seed from Russia edged past Serbian lucky loser Miomir Kechmanovic, winning 7-6(5), 6-4. The World No. 9 from Russia capitalized on two of his six break point chances to prevail after one hour and 31 minutes.
“I played better than in Stuttgart. I like the tournament, the whole atmosphere here,” said Khachanov, who will next play either Jan-Lennard Sturff of Germany or Laslo Djere of Serbia.
Earlier in the day, Pierre-Hugues Herbert emerged victorious from the all-French battle with No. 5 seed Gael Monfils. The 28-year-old Schiltigheim native won 54 per cent of the total points played to secure a 7-6(6), 6-4 victory in one hour and 40 minutes. Herbert will next take on the winner of the encounter between German wild card entry Rudolf Molleker and Ukrainian qualifier Sergiy Stakhovksky.
Nine-time Halle champion Roger Federer will step into action on Tuesday facing Australia’s John Millman. Croatian Borna Coric will start his title defence against #NextGenATP Spaniard Jaume Munar. Reigning French Open doubles champions Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies will also open their title bid. The No. 4 seeds will take on the all-German tandem of Dustin Brown and Tim Pütz.