STARNBERG, October 22, 2020
Amid the coronavirus pandemic with less tennis action to follow than usual, Germany has become the centre of the international pro circuits in recent times. This week the country hosts tournaments at all three different levels of the men’s tour. Besides the ATP 250 event in Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia, and the ATP Challenger in Ismaning, Bavaria, the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg welcomes players from different parts of the world for the fifth edition of the $25,000 Future Nord.
The ITF World Tennis Tour M25 tournament, which is taking place without spectators due to the increasing number of COVID-19 cases, has been relocated from Kaltenkirchen to Germany’s second-largest city and is held at the venue of the Hamburg Tennis Association.
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Quarterfinals are set
The last eight players will meet in Thursday’s quarterfinals of the indoor hard-court event, headlined by the great run of 24-year-old German Timo Stodder. The World No. 1,056 booked his spot in the main draw by winning a wild card tournament and defeated Khumoyun Sultanov from Uzbekistna, Viktor Durasovic of Norway in the first two rounds to set a clash with No. 3 seed Chun Hsin Tseng of Chinese Taipei.
“Enjoying a small beer in the evening and I get the necessary relaxation as well as a good feeling on the hard court,” Stodder revealed the secret of his success with a twinkle in his eyes. The Berlin native, who graduated from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville with a bachelor degree in finance last year, also played college tennis for four years and became the eighth Tennessee Volunteer in program history to earn three All-America honors after being named a singles and doubles All-American in 2019.
Stodder is not a newcomer to the Pro Circuit, as he has already made a couple of statement wins in the United States by reaching the semi-finals of the 2018 Futures tournament in Birmingham, Alabama as well as in Harlingen, Texas last year. The German is currently in a stage of orientation, works as a tennis coach and plays many professional tournaments. “At the moment I just feel good and have confidence in my strokes,” he said.
Zuk highest-ranked player left in the draw
In other action, Stefan Kozlov from the United States, who knocked out the tournament’s top seed Stefano Napolitano of Italy in the opening round, will take on another Italian, Raul Brancaccio, in the quarterfinals.
British qualifier Anton Matusevich, winner of the 2018 US Open boys’ doubles title alongside Bulgarian Adrian Andreev, will face No. 4 seed Manuel Guinard of France. World No. 284 and second seed Kacper Zuk from Poland, who has already lifted two trophies on the ITF World Tennis Tour this season at the GB Pro Series in Barnstaple as well as on home soil in Poznan, will oppose No. 5 seed Alex Molcan of Slovakia.