HEILBRONN, May 9, 2021
After a year hiatus due to the coronavirus crisis, the ATP Challenger Tour has returned to Heilbronn, known for its wine industry and situated less than an hour north of Stuttgart, Germany for the seventh edition of the award-winning NECKARCUP.
The €88,520 clay-court event is being held at the TC Heilbronn Trappensee E.V. 1892, one of the few remaining clubs on the ATP Challenger Tour to be founded in the 1800s.
— Florian Heer (@Florian_Heer) May 8, 2021
The field is led by World No. 72 Jiri Vesely. The 27-year-old from the Czech Republic, a winner of two ATP Tour titles, will begin his title bid against local favourite and this weekend’s Prague Open finalist Oscar Otte.
World No. 96 Yannick Hanfmann leads a strong German contingent. The second seed will open his home campaign against Dutchman Tallon Griekspoor, the champion in Prague. Hanfmann was awarded the final wild card into the main draw by tournament director Metehan Cebeci.
“Yannick is currently playing his best tennis. Sitting at World No. 96, he is one of the top players of this year’s tournament”, said Cebeci. The 29-year-old Karlsruhe native will be competing in his 10th tournament of the season.
Two weeks ago at the BMW Open in Munich, Hanfmann was forced to withdraw from his second-round match against two-time NECKARCUP champion Filip Kraijnovic due to a neck injury. On Friday it was not one hundred percent sure whether he could compete in Heilbronn. “His coach assured me this morning that Yannick is fit again and can definitely play in Heilbronn,” Cebeci confirmed on Saturday.
The draw has been made!
— NECKARCUP Heilbronn (@NeckarH) May 8, 2021
Dennis Novak from Austria is seeded third and will play German wild card entry Yannick Maden in the first round. Daniel Elahi Galan of Colombia rounds out the tournament’s Top 4. The World No. 112 from Colombia is seeking his third ATP Challenger career title and will start against Australian Marc Polmans.
Other notable first-round matches include the all-German affair between No. 7 seed and former World No. 16 Philipp Kohlschreiber and Cedrik-Marcel Stebe. 2018 NECKARCUP champion Rudolf Molleker will also return to Baden-Württemberg. His triumph on home soil has marked his lone title win at senior’s level for the 20-year-old German, who had to deal with a back injury last year. Molleker was awarded a main draw wild card by the German Tennis Federation (DTB) and will try to get back to his best, facing Frenchman Antoine Hoang in the opening round.