METZ, September 23, 2015
The start of the second round as well as the conclusion of the first round headlined Wednesday’s action at the Moselle Open in Metz.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who received a bye in the opening round, arrived in France following a successful US-Open campaign, reaching the quarterfinals before falling to defending champion Marin Cilic in five sets. The third-seed had a tough fight against Mischa Zverev but eventually emerged victorious, winning 7-6, 6-7, 6-3. Tsonga fired 12 aces and won 77% of his first service points to finish the encounter after two hours and 15 minutes.
Fernando Verdasco lost to Gilles Muller for the first time in their third tour meeting. Both players served tremendously well. Verdasco stroke 14 aces and Muller 17. The 32-year-old Luxemburgish won 90% of his first service points to seal victory in two tie-breaks, winning 7-6, 7-6 in one hour and 47 minutes.
“What pleased me most was the way I played,” said Muller. “Every time I had a chance to go to net, I did, and that put a lot of pressure on him. Playing indoors is an easy adjustment for me since I depend a lot on my serve-and-volley game. Indoors, there is no wind and no outside influences to affect my game, so it is easier for sure.”
In the remaining first round matches fifth seed Philipp Kohlschreiber, who reached the final here in 2009, overcame John Millman in their first tour meeting, winning 7-6, 6-3. The world number 33 from Germany won 72% of his first service points and converted three of his 10 break point chances to advance after one hour and 31 minutes.
Kohlschreiber will face Paolo Lorenzi next. The 33-year-old Italian hit seven aces and capitalized on three of his nine break points to seal a 1-6, 6-3, 6-3 victory in one hour and 41 minutes over Steve Darcis.
With Dustin Brown another German made their way into the second round. The world number 107, who secured together with Kohlschreiber Germany’s spot in the World Group of the Davis last weekend in the Dominican Republic, overcame Rajeev Ram, winning 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 in one hour and 34 minutes. Brown will clash with Metz’s top-seed Stan Wawrinka next.
French wild card Pierre-Hugues Herbert beat Sergiy Stakhovksy, winning 6-2, 7-5. It was Herbert’s second match win against the Ukrainian this season, following his victory in Winston-Salem earlier this year. The world number 103 saved all of the two break points he faced to prevail in one hour and 15 minutes facing fourth seed Guillermo Garcia-López next.