Sels Upsets Haase At Tennis Challenger Hamburg

Jelle Sels

HAMBURG, October 23, 2019 (by Alessandro Boroch)

Wednesday’s second-round action at the €46,600 Tennis Challenger Hamburg presented by Tannenhof was headlined by World No. 368 Jelle Sels, who took out seventh seed Robin Haase in a dramatic match.

In the first set, 24-year-old Sels was left with nothing, losing the deciding tie-break, although he priorly had four set points on Haase’s serve at 6-5 to close the set out. Nevertheless, the younger Dutchman remained mentally focused and eventually ousted his compatriot 6-7(4), 7-6(4), 6-3 in three hours in total.

“I have a lot of respect for him. Of course, he is a good player and he is already this for a very long time. I tried to see it as a normal match, just like every match, of course there are still some things that play in your head, but I won so I’m happy now,” Sels told Tennis TourTalk.

“I didn’t have a match plan, I just tried to play my own game. I play with a lot of power and when I feel confident, I know I can beat everyone,” he continued.

Sels will next take on local player Daniel Altmaier, who cruised past Italian No. 10 seed Filippo Baldi in just 64 minutes. The German won by the score of 6-2, 6-4.

Altmaier stated after the match: “I’ve already played against Baldi in Augsburg on clay, so I already knew his game which made it easier for me. Overall, I feel confident, the conditions suit my game well, I like the hard court here. Today, I served and played well from the very beginning of the match.”

No 1. seed Salvatore Caruso, who entered the Top 100 for the first time in his career after his title win at the Sanchez-Casal Academy in Barcelona, started his title bid in Hamburg against World No. 237 Daniel Masur from Germany. Despite being outpointed (102-104) and having had to face a match point on his serve at 5-6, the Italian eventually beat Masur 2-6, 6-3, 7-6(5) in two hours and 26 minutes, after the German double faulted on match point.

Four more German players were in action on Wednesday.

Former World No. 64 Tobias Kamke fought back from a set down to take out Nikola Milojevic, last week’s quarterfinalist at the ATP 250 in Moscow, 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 in one hour and 50 minutes.

“It was a very close match. I was a bit lucky that I came back into the match, even though I was down a set and a break. During the second and third set, I felt way more confident from the baseline and did not do as many errors as beforehand,”  Kamke commented afterwards.

No. 8 seed Oscar Otte did not experience a good day at the office. The German, who was born and raised in Cologne, won just four games in total during his straight-sets loss against Bernabe Zapata Miralles, 2-6, 2-6. The 22-year-old from Spain will next take on Serbian Viktor Troicki, who beat Steve Darcis of Belgium during Tuesday’s action.

18-year-old Rudolf Molleker, who is the second-best player in the world under the age of 19, also fell in the second round, losing 6-7(3), 6-2, 1-6 against unseeded Turkish Cem Ilkel.

It went better, however, for German Cedrik-Marcel Stebe, who secured a 6-2, 6-3 victory in just 68 minutes over 29-year-old Italian Alessandro Giannessi. With today’s victory, Stebe has set up an all-German duel versus Kamke in the third round.

Second seed Elias Ymer from Sweden opened today’s action on Centre Court against Belgian veteran Ruben Bemelmans. The 23-year-old Swede had to save two match points in the second set before eventually overcoming former World No. 84 Bemelmans in three sets, winning 6-7(5), 7-6(5), 6-3.

Also in action were Botic van de Zandschulp, who advanced into the third round after just 28 minutes due to an injury from Tallon Griekspoor that forced him to retire, and No. 4 seed Ukrainian veteran Sergiy Stakhovsky, who beat last week’s Ismaning finalist Maxime Cressy of the United States  7-6(6), 7-6(4) after two hours and seven minutes.