Zverev Makes Winning Return At Hamburg European Open

Alexander Zverev (photo: Alexander Scheuber/Hamburg European Open)

HAMBURG, July 23, 2019

Alexander Zverev will join top seed Dominic Thiem in the second round of the Hamburg European Open. In his first match in his hometown since 2016, the tournament’s No. 2 defeated Nicolas Jarry in straight sets.

In front of about 6,900 spectators on Centre Court, Zverev delighted his home crowd with a solid performance on Tuesday afternoon. The 22-year-old German hit 10 winners and broke Jarry’s serve four times to seal a 6-4, 6-2 victory with his fifth ace after one hour and 11 minutes.

Of course, you feel a little nervous, but I think that is completely normal and probably it’s even good. If you don’t have any feelings or are without any emotions it isn’t even nice to go on the court. It is great to play here in Hamburg. It is very special for me and I hope that this was just the beginning for me,” said Zverev after his tricky opener at the Rothenbaum tournament.

Jarry, who lifted his first ATP Tour singles trophy at the Swedish Open in Bastad on Sunday, saved a match point before beating Zverev at Barcelona earlier this season. Zverev exacted revenge in the Geneva final, saving two championship points before overcoming the 23-year-old Chilean for the title.

“My plan was to stay aggressive today. If you give him the chance to play his own game, it’ll become very tough. Overall it was a very positive first round and it will be interesting how it will go on for me, said Zverev, who will face Federico Delbonis in the second round. The 28-year-old from Argentina rallied past Italy’s Marco Cecchinato 6-7(5), 7-6(3), 6-2 after two hours and 36 minutes.

“I hope to go deep this week, winning the title here. That’s the goal,” said Zverev. “Confidence will grow with every match I win. Conditions are great here. I’m someone, who likes the heat. The ball is a little bit quicker, I can stay at the rear of the court because the ball bounces a little higher, so it is in my favour at times.”

Zverev, however, has not yet reaped many rewards at the Rothenbaum tournament during his quick journey to the top of the game. Despite having won five clay-court titles, including two ATP Masters 1000 shields on the surface and back-to-back trophies at Munich in 2017 and 2018, it was Zverev’s only fifth match win in Hamburg. The World No. 5 reached the semi-finals in his hometown in 2014 as a 285th-ranked wild card entry before losing to David Ferrer, but Zverev fell in the first round of the next two editions and did not play the ATP 500 event in the last two years.

Fognini prevails

Later in the afternoon, Fabio Fognini had to work hard to earn a 6-4, 6-4 win over German qualifier Julian Lenz, who appeared in his first ever main draw on the ATP Tour. The No. 3 seed from Italy, who clinched the title in Hamburg in 2013, won 53 per cent of the total points played to advance in one hour and 16 minutes. Fognini will oppose German teenager Rudolf Molleker in the second round. 

Around the courts

On Court M1, Pablo Carreno Busta edged past German wild card Yannick Hanfmann, winning 7-6(5), 6-4. The 28-year-old Spaniard saved six of the seven break points he faced, converting two of his own seven break point chances to prevail after one hour and 42 minutes. Carreno Busta will next take on Jan-Lennard Struff of Germany.

Richard Gasquet set an all-French second-round clash with Jeremy Chardy following a 6-2, 7-6(2) win over Indian qualifier Sumit Nagal. The encounter lasted one hour and 29 minutes.

Filip Krajinovic emerged victorious from the all-Serbian affair, winning 6-3, 6-3 against No. 6 seed Laslo Djere. The Belgrade resident capitalized on four of his eight break point chances to face former Hamburg champion Martin Klizan of Slovakia in the next round.