Zverev Makes Winning Start At Halle

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.

“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.