Struff Stuns Medvedev At Noventi Open Halle

Jan-Lennard Struff (photo: NOVENTI OPEN/Mathias Schulz)

HALLE/STARNBERG, June 15, 2021

Jan-Lennard Struff headlined Tuesday’s first-round action at the NOVENTI OPEN by knocking out World No. 2 top seed of the ATP 500 grass-court event Daniil Medvedev of Russia, 7-6(6), 6-3.

The 31-year-old German capitalized on three of his four break-point chances to prevail after one hour and 33 minutes.

“This is the biggest win – Rankings wise – of my career and to do it here on home soil is very special,” said Struff. “I live only an hour from here.

“He served for the first set at 6-5 and twice went for an ace on a second serve and I put returns in at 30/30 and 30/40. I then played a very good tie-break and at 5-1 up in the second set, I thought about being up 5-1 last week against Diego Schwartzman [in the Roland Garros fourth round]. I lost the set in the tie-break, after having seven set points, so it was definitely in my head. It’s not something you can get out of your head easily.”

Up next for Warstein native Struff will be US-American qualifier Marcos Giron.

Zverev defeats Koepfer

Later in the day, Alexander Zverev opened his grass-court season with a 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 over fellow German Dominik Koepfer. The No. 3 seed sent down eight aces and won 89 per cent of his first-service points to advance after one hour and 44 minutes.

Zverev, twice a runner-up at this event, only had two practice sessions ahead of his first-round match.

“I didn’t feel well on the grass yet. This is my third day on it, but for a good reason because I played pretty well in Paris,” Zverev said in an on-court interview. “There is still a lot of work ahead of me, but I’m definitely happy to get the win.” 

The 24-year-old Hamburg native made it into the semis at Roland Garros and will next take on Ugo Humbert of Frace, who rallied past US-American Sam Querrey 4-6, 7-6(4), 7-6(5).

Rublev advances

In other action, Andrey Rublev emerged victorious from the all-Russian affair with Karen Khachanov, 6-3, 7-6(5). The No. 4 seed won 56 per cent of the total points played to prevail after one hour and 18 minutes. Rublev will next face Jordan Thompson of Australia.

German wild card entry Philipp Kohlschreiber defeated Austria’s Jurij Rodionov to set a second-round meeting with Frenchman Corentin Moutet. Lloyd Harris of South Africa edged out No. 8 seed Gael Monfils of France 6-4, 6-4 and will next play Slovakian qualifier Lukas Lacko.

French qualifier Arthur Rinderknech beat German lucky loser Yannick Hanfmann, who replaced second favourite Stefanos Tsitsipas from Greece, 7-5, 6-3. Rinderknech will oppose qualifier Nikoloz Basilashvili from Georgia in the next round, who battled past French veteran Gilles Simon 6-1, 3-6, 6-4.

Felix Auger-Aliassime, finalist at last week’s MercedesCup in Stuttgart, continued his fine run of form on grass with a 6-3, 7-5 victory over Hubert Hurkacz from Poland. The 21-year-old Canadian will be Roger Federer‘s next opponent.