Hamburg European Open Qualifying Kicks Off

HAMBURG, September 19, 2020

International tennis action has returned to Germany as the 2020 Hamburg European Open got underway on Saturday at the modernized Rothenbaum Tennis Stadium, with eight singles and two doubles qualifying matches.

The order of play featured a mix of players with local ties, doubles specialists looking to try their luck in singles and one of the tournament’s former champions.

Wild card entry and Hamburg native Marvin Moeller played the first Center Court match of the tournament taking on Austrian alternate Lenny Hampel. The 21-year-old German, however, lost 6-2, 7-6(7) in one hour and 41 minutes. It was Moeller’s first match on the international circuit since reaching the second round of the ITF World Tennis Tour M15 event in Loule, Portugal in March.

Hampel will next take on Jiri Vesely for a spot in the main draw. The two-time ATP Tour champion from the Czech Republic fired 10 aces in his 6-4, 6-4 win over local wild card player Milan Welte. Vesely secured victory in one hour and 19 minutes.

Sandgren advances

Qualifying top seed Tennys Sandgren defeated Swedish youngster Mikael Ymer 6-3, 7-6(2). The World No. 49 from the United States won 70 per cent of his first-service points to advance to the second round after one hour and 32 minutes. Up next for Sandgren will be Radu Albot of Moldova, who beat No. 7 seed Juan Ignacio Londero from Argentina 7-6(5), 6-4.

Gilles Simon has made a winning return to Hamburg. The 2011 Rothenbaum champion and No. 3 seed remained untroubled in his 6-1, 6-1 win over 22-year-old German wild card Mats Rosenkranz. Simon will next play sixth favourite Pablo Cuevas. The 34-year-old from Uruguay, who finished runner-up to Martin Klizan in Hamburg four years ago, fought past Kevin Krawietz, one half of the reigning Roland Garros doubles champions, winning 7-6(6), 7-6(4) in just under two hours of play.

In other Saturday qualifying matches, No. 4 seed Alexander Bublik from Kazakhstan edged past Mats Moraing of Germany 6-2, 7-5 to meet US-American Tommy Paul in the final round. The No. 5 seed from Florida beat Portuguese Joao Sousa 6-1, 6-3.

Main draw made

Main draw action will kick off on Monday with World No. 5 Daniil Medvedev and World No. 6 Stefanos Tsitsipas being the top two seeds of the ATP 500 tournament.

Medvedev will open his title bid against Frenchman Ugo Humbert. The 24-year-old Russian returns to Hamburg for the first time since his debut as a qualifier in 2016. This will mark Medvedev’s first appearance on clay since last year’s Roland Garros. He enjoyed a breakthrough in the second half of 2019, when he reached six straight finals, highlighted by two ATP Masters 1000 titles and a runner-up finish at the US Open.

Tsitsipas, the reigning Nitto ATP Finals champion, will be making his Hamburg debut. The 22-year-old Greek will be looking to rebound from a loss to Jannik Sinner in his clay return this past week at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. Tsitsipas starts his campaign in Northern Germany against Briton Daniel Evans.

Nikoloz Basilashviliof Georgia will go for his third straight title facing No. 4 seeded Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut in the first round. No. 3 seed Gael Monfils of France will take on in-form German wild card Yannick Hanfmann, who finished runner-up to Miomir Kecmanovic at the Generali Open in Kitzbühel last Sunday.

A strong Hamburg field also includes Andrey Rublev of Russia, Italy’s Fabio Fognini, Diego Schwartzman from Argentina, #NextGenATP Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime, Cristian Garin of Chile and South Africa’s Kevin Anderson.