AUGSBURG, August 5, 2019 (by Dietmar Kaspar)
The first edition of the €46,600 Schwaben Open kicked off on a mainly sunny Monday at the venue of the TC Augsburg Siebentisch and Peter Heller from Germany as well as Spaniard Oriol Roca Batalla headlined first-round Centre-Court action on the opening day.
Twenty-six-year-old Heller, who was ranked No. 1 in the ITF World Tennis Tour Rankings, capitalized on seven of his nine break point opportunities to claim a 7-5, 6-7, 6-4 victory in two hours and 56 minutes.
“It was a very tough match, on a razor’s edge. It was mentally very important for me to come back after 2-4, to win the first set. In the tie-break of the second set I made more mistakes than my opponent. I gained an early lead in the third set and stayed solid on serve to get the win,” said Heller, who is currently sitting at World No. 343 in the ATP Rankings.
About his further schedule, he stated: “I’m confident to find a good mixture between Challenger- and Future events.” Heller will face Spanish No. 13 seed Mario Vilella Martinez in the next round.
Taberner back in good shape
On Court 2, Carlos Taberner edged past ITF-entry Arthur Rinderknech of France, winning 6-2, 6-4. The 21-year-old from Spain converted three of his 10 break point chances to finish the encounter in one hour and 23 minutes.
“I played very well. My opponent had a good serve but I was focused the entire match and returned well. I am very happy with this win today,” Taberner told Tennis TourTalk afterwards. The 21-year-old Spaniard was sidelined from the courts several times during the last couple of months.
“In April last year I suffered from an abdominal injury for the first time and I recovered pretty well in one and half month to prepare for Roland Garros. I won three matches in Paris but it broke again during the fourth match and I was forced to stop for another two months. I came back and played some good Challengers but had to retire in one match with a wrist injury. I only played 10 or 12 tournaments last year. I had a good start into this season, even indoors, which is not my favourite surface, but with the arrival of the clay-court season I suffered from another abdominal injury. Now I think the problem is under control and I feel good again. I hope to play a successful week here,” Taberner explained his hard-luck story. His first impression of the new tournament on the ATP Challenger Tour is a good one.
“It’s very nice here. There is a lot of space around the courts, which are in very good condition. The weather is also nice. For the first year, it’s very good,” said Taberner and will next take on No. 12 seeded Frenchman Constant Lestienne.
Ruusuvuori in cruise mode
Emil Ruusuvuori of Finland cruised past Pedro Sakamoto from Brazil. The 20-year-old from Helsinki won 80 per cent of his second-service points to secure a 6-2, 6-1 win after 71 minutes. Ruusuvuori will next compete versus Spanish No. 14 seed Bernabe Zapata Miralles.
“I felt good today,” Ruusuvuori said. “I played two club matches in Germany last weekend, this was a good preparation.”
Asked about the upcoming Davis-Cup clash between Finland and Austria with Dominic Thiem, he said: „It is a really nice tie. You do not get too many opportunities to play against such good players. They have good singles and doubles players, so they are a great team. We will have fun with our home crowd and the fast courts in Helsinki.“
Lenz with come back win
In the last match on Centre Court, German Julian Lenz, who qualified for his first ATP main draw in Hamburg two weeks ago, took on Eduard Esteve Lobato of Spain. The 26-year-old Giessen native came back from a set down to push the match the distance. Being down 1-3 in the deciding set, Lenz clinched four games in a row to celebrate a 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 win after two hours and eight minutes.
„The first match in a tournament is always tough. I had big problems to find my rhythm. I did not feel too good during the match, but I tried to come back and fought a lot. I hope it was the toughest match of the tournament to get better and better the next matches,” Lenz said.
Lenz will next oppose Indian lucky loser N. Vijay Sundar, who will replace Rudolf Molleker. The German teenager was forced to withdraw from the tournament citing a right elbow injury.
Benjamin Hassan from Germany ousted Frenchman Tak Khunn Wang 6-2, 6-4. The 24-year-old broke his opponent’s serve three times to advance after 64 minutes. Hassan will next meet No. 5 seed Lukas Rosol from the Czech Republic.
„I felt really good on the court and served very well. The service of my opponent was not his best today, so I took the returns very early and to put some pressure on him“, Hassan said.
Jahn prevails on home soil
Munich native Jeremy Jahn defeated Javier Barranco Cosano of Spain 6-2, 6-3. The 29-year-old German converted four of his seven break-point chances by dropping one service game to seal victory in one hour and 20 minutes.
Jahn, who practices in Düsseldorf, told Tennis TourTalk about the tournament in Augsburg: „It is a great feeling to play in front of my family and my friends. I’m so happy that I received the last wild card, which gave me the chance to play here instead of a tournament in Italy.” Jahn will next take on No. 6 seeded Spaniard Pedro Martinez.
Earlier in the day, 27-year-old Renzo Olivo, opened Centre-Court action against German native Jan Choinski, who is representing Great Britain. The clay-court specialist from Argentina outpointed his 23-year-old rival 70-60, to emerge victorious 6-4, 6-4 after one hour and 36 minutes. Olivo, who was ranked World No. 8 as a junior, will face Spanish No. 7 seed Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in the second round.
Former ATP No. 71 Jurgen Zopp remained untroubled against Georgian Aleksandre Metreveli, who entered the competition by his protected ranking. After 67 minutes, the 31-year-old Estonian claimed a 6-1, 6-2 win to face No. 9 seeded Austrian Sebastian Ofner in the next round.
Argentinean Facundo Mena advanced by defeating Kai Lemstra from Germany. The 26-year-old Buenos Aires native won 83 per cent of his first-service points to claim a 6-4, 6-2 victory in one hour and 21 minutes. In the stage of the last 32 he will meet Italian No. 10 seed Roberto Marcora.
ITF entry Jeroen Vanneste from Belgium battled past Uladzimir Ignatik of Belarus after one hour and 44 minutes, winning 6-4, 7-5. The 25-year-old will next play No. 11 seed Jay Clarke from Great Britain.
Manuel Guinard eased past Italian Raul Brancaccio in one hour and 14 minutes by the score of 6-3, 6-4. The 23-year-old French will compete against No. 8 seed Mats Moraing of Germany.
Qualifiers complete main draw
Qualifying action got underway with Geoffrey Blancaneaux from France, who beat reigning German juniors champion Niklas Guttau, 6-4, 6-1.who faced 20-year-old. The 20-year-old Paris native, who already clinched three titles on the ITF World Tennis Tour this season, will next take on Adam Pavlasek from the Czech Republic.
The second spot for the main draw was determined in an all-Indian encounter. 29-year-old N. Sriram Balaji knocked off N. Vijay Sundar Prashanth winning 6-2, 6-3 in 76 minutes. He will next compete versus German wild card entry Robert Strombach.
A look ahead
In Tuesday’s match of the day, Lukas Rosol will face Benjamin Hassan not before 4 pm on Centre Court. For tickets, please visit the tournament’s official website.
Photo Gallery (by Florian Heer)