Kohlschreiber Tames Big Hitter, Makes Genova Quarters

Philipp Kohlschreiber advances to the quarterfinals in Genova (photo: AON Open Challenger)

GENOVA, September 6, 2019 (by Brian Allen)

Philipp Kohlschreiber, the No. 4 seed, overcame power-hitter Bernabe Zapata Miralles of Spain 7-5, 7-5 in a third-round matchup Thursday evening at the AON Open Challenger in Genova. He broke the Spaniard’s serve late in each set while weathering the straight-ahead onslaught of his opponent’s groundstrokes.

Kohlschreiber described the contest as “a bit tougher” than the previous round against the shot-making teen from Italy, Lorenzo Musetti, with Zapata Miralles “a more tricky opponent, playing a little more aggressive.”

Entering the tournament in search of match play, Kohlschreiber conceded that his level after two victories is “still not 100 percent” but that he has “100 percent of the will to win.” He plays in the quarterfinals against No. 10 seed Guido Andreozzi of Argentina on Friday.

Travaglia eliminates last Italian teen

No. 6 seed Stefano Travaglia displayed his clay-court expertise in easily handling Italian wildcard Giulio Zeppieri 6-2, 6-2.

Already a two-time champion on the ATP Challenger Tour in 2019 and the winner of their lone encounter in April, the 27-year-old Italian successfully directed consistent pressure at the 17-year-old Zeppieri’s weaker backhand side. That was the game plan from the start.

“I played my full power to his backhand so that he could not hit his forehand,” Travaglia said. “I played good from the beginning, and I was always playing with the lead.”

Zeppieri helped Travaglia’s lead by dropping serve six times in eight service games, including twice with double faults.

Looking ahead, Travaglia said that “the next match will be different, but I’m happy with the win today.”

His quarterfinal opponent will be top seed Lorenzo Sonego of Italy or No. 16 seed Jiri Vesely of the Czech Republic. Their third-round match was suspended because of rain, with Vesely leading 7-6(6), 2-1.

Thursday Results

Third Round

(16) Jiri Vesely (CZE) leads (1/WC) Lorenzo Sonego (ITA) 7-6(6), 2-1 susp.

(6) Stefano Travaglia (ITA) def. (WC) Giulio Zeppieri (ITA) 6-2, 6-2

(4/WC) Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER) def. Bernabe Zapata Miralles (ESP) 7-5, 7-5

(10) Guido Andreozzi (ARG) def. Filippo Baldi (ITA) 6-3, 7-5

(11) Alejandro Davidovich Fokina (ESP) def. (7) Jaume Munar (ESP) 4-6, 6-4, 6-3

(14) Taro Daniel (JPN) def. Federico Coria (ARG) 7-6(5), 6-4

(8) Thiago Monteiro (BRA) def. Gianluca Mager (ITA) 4-6, 6-4, 6-4

(2) Albert Ramos-Vinolas (ESP) def. (13) Attila Balazs (HUN) 6-1, 6-3