COLOGNE, October 19, 2020
For the second week in a row, Cologne stages an ATP 250 indoor hard-court tournament. After home favourite and top seed Alexander Zverev clinched the trophy of the bett1HULKS Indoors on Sunday, the main draw of the bett1HULKS Championship kicked off on Monday.
Qualifier Egor Gerasimov made a statement win in his main draw debut inside the Lanxess Arena by cruising past German wild card entry Daniel Altmaier 6-1, 6-0. The World No. 87 from Belarus saved both break points he faced and converted five of his own eight break point chances to advance in only 61 minutes.
“The result looks easy on the scoreboard but it was pretty tough tight with a lot of deuce games,” Gerasimov told Markus Zoecke during his post-match interview. “The two matches in the qualifying helped to find my rhythm, even it took place on a different surface.”
Up next for Gerasimov will be No. 5 seed Felix Auger-Aliassime of Canada, runner-up at last week’s event.
Later in the day, Steve Johnson knocked out No. 9 seed and 2014 US Open champion Marin Cilic of Croatia. The 30-year-old US-American fired 11 aces and won 68 per cent of his first-service points to secure a 7-6(3), 6-4 victory in just under two hours of play. Johnson will next take on the winner of the encounter between #NextGenATP Spaniard Alejandro Davidovich Fokina and qualifier Damir Dzumhur of Bosnia and Herzegovina.