Zverev Awaits Berankis In Munich Opener

Alexander Zverev (photo: Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)

MUNICH, April 26, 2021

The BMW Open, Germany’s first ATP Tour tournament of the season, kicked off on a sunny Monday at the venue of the MTTC Iphitos in Munich. Due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis, the International Bavarian Championships are being held behind closed doors.

Lucky loser Ricardas Berankis headlined the action, as he edged past local wild card entry Maximilian Marterer 7-6(10), 6-3 to set a second-round clash with top seed Alexander Zverev. The 30-year-old Lithuanian, who lost to Ilya Ivashka in the final round of the qualifying, withstood five aces and broke Marterer’s serve twice to prevail after one hour and 47 minutes.

“I am really happy to get a second chance to play in the main draw here,” Berankis said afterwards. “The first set was key today and I am happy about my performance. I arrived quite late but I was able to adjust to the conditions pretty well. It’s my second time here after 2014 when I made it to the quarterfinals. Let’s see how it will go this year.”

Asked about his upcoming match on Wednesday against the two-time BMW Open champion, Berankis replied: “He is a Top 5 player. What can I say, it is a great opportunity. I will try to play my game and enjoy it.” Zverev won the only previous meeting between the two in the opening round of the 2018 French Open.

Meanwhile on Court 1, Ivashka cruised past Finnish young gun Emil Ruusuvuori 6-1, 6-2 in 67 minutes. The Belarusian, who pushed eventual champion Rafael Nadal to three sets at the Barcelona Banc Sabadell Open last week, broke serve on five occasions and will next take on either US-American qualifier Mackenzie McDonald or No. 6 seed Dusan Lajovic of Serbia.

In the longest match of the day, No. 8 seed John Millman emerged victorious from the all-Australian encounter with Alexei Popyrin, 7-6(3), 3-6, 7-5. The 31-year-old Brisbane native outpointed his compatriot 132-129 after two hours and 55 minutes. Up next for Millman will be Guido Pella, who benefited from the retirement of Egor Gerasimov of Belarus leading 6-0, 2-0.

In the final match of the day, Federico Coria defeated German qualifier Cedrik-Marcel Stebe 6-3, 3-6, 6-2. The 29-year-old Argentine converted eight of his 13 break-point chances to secure victory in two hours and nine minutes.

Coria will next play lucky loser Norbert Gombos from Slovakia, who replaced No. 3 seeded in-form Russian Aslan Karatsev, runner-up to Matteo Berrettini at the Serbia Open in Belgrade last Sunday.