GENOVA, September 5, 2019 (by Brian Allen)
Experience matters, and Philipp Kohlschreiber displayed that in his 6-4, 6-4 win over 17-year-old Lorenzo Musetti of Italy at the AON Open Challenger in a Wednesday evening second-round matchup.
The 35-year-old German, seeded fourth, dropped serve once each set. But Musetti, the 2019 Australian Open junior boys’ singles champion, seemed unsure whether to press forward or rally during the important moments. He double-faulted to lose the first set and dropped serve again at the beginning of the second.
Wild cards for @challengergenoa main draw announced: Defending champion Lorenzo Sonego 🇮🇹 and Philipp Kohlschreiber 🇩🇪 (first @ATPChallenger appearance since 2014) to join the line-up next week. pic.twitter.com/BoSepYRjCV
— TennisTourTalk (@TennisTourTalk) August 31, 2019
Kohlschreiber entered the tournament for more match play to build confidence in light of a 2-7 record since the French Open, opting against spending more time in the United States.
“I wanted to go home” after a first-round loss at the U.S. Open, he said. Genova “is a short way for me from Kitzbühel.”
But he was not ruing the straight-sets win.
“It was not easy, full stadium, young kid from Italy, I think very talented,” Kohlschreiber said of wildcard Musetti. “It’s very important to win. I think I did some things very well, and some things I can improve.”
His next match will be Thursday evening against Bernabe Zapata Miralles of Spain.
Top seed and defending champion Lorenzo Sonego came through a stern test not reflected in the score. He beat Yannick Hanfmann of Germany 6-1, 6-3 in a late match that lasted 98 minutes and featured a number of games when neither player could press his advantage.
“There is a high level [of play] here,” Sonego said. “Hanfmann is a good player. But today, I served good, I returned good, and I like to play in ‘my Italy,’” Sonego said. “I have a good feeling about this tournament, and I will try to do my best tomorrow.”
Sonego will play no. 16 seed Jiri Vesely of the Czech Republic in a night match Thursday.
No. 2 seed Albert Ramos-Vinolas of Spain also had a difficult test, this one reflected in the score line. He defeated Federico Gaio of Italy 6-4, 4-6, 6-2.
Ramos-Vinolas faces no. 13 seed Attila Balazs of Hungary on Thursday.
Baldi continues run
Italy’s Filippo Baldi sprang the first upset of the day, beating no. 5 seed Roberto Carballes Baena of Spain 7-6(4), 1-6, 6-1. Broken serving for the first set, Baldi was in control during the tiebreak, and his power and variety slowly took a toll on the steady Spaniard.
“I was feeling pretty good since the beginning of the match, and in the second set, I was still playing good,” he said. “In the third set, I think I played my best.”
In consecutive matches in Genova, Baldi now has won in three sets and received warnings for unsportsmanlike conduct. He launched a ball out of the venue today during the second set (broken racquet on Monday).
“If I don’t do that, probably I will play worse. That’s me, in a good and bad way,” he acknowledged. “I’m trying to be calm on the court, and I think I’m doing better than in previous weeks. That’s my goal for the next match.”
Baldi faces another seeded player, No. 10 Guido Andreozzi of Argentina, in the third round on Thursday.
(13) Attila Balazs (HUN) def. (Q) Alex Molcan (SVK) 3-6, 6-3, 6-3
(2) Albert Ramos-Vinolas (ESP) def. Federico Gaio (ITA) 6-4, 4-6, 6-2
Filippo Baldi (ITA) def. (5) Roberto Carballes Baena (ESP) 7-6(4), 1-6, 6-1
(16) Jiri Vesely (CZE) def. Alejandro Tabilo (CHI) 7-5, 6-1
Federico Coria (ARG) def. (3) Marco Cecchinato (ITA) 7-6(4), 3-6, 6-4
(4/WC) Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER) def. (WC) Lorenzo Musetti (ITA) 6-4, 6-4
(1/WC) Lorenzo Sonego (ITA) def. Yannick Hanfmann (GER) 6-1, 6-3