HELSINKI/STARNBERG, November 15, 2021
After a year hiatus due to the coronavirus crisis, the ATP Challenger Tour has returned to the Tali Tennis Center in Helsinki, Finland for the HPP Open. Main draw matches of the €44,820 hard-court tournament kicked off Monday with two German players in first-round action.
Maximilian Marterer rallied from a set down to overcome Emilio Gomez of Ecuador 4-6, 6-2, 6-3. The 26-year-old from Nuremberg, who reached the quarterfinals at the Slovak Open in Bratislava last week, struck five aces and won 76 per cent of his first-service points to prevail after one hour and 58 minutes.
Marterer will next take on the winner of the encounter between his compatriot Mats Moraing and No. 7 seed Jozef Kovalik from Slovakia.
Earlier in the day, Matthias Bachinger defeated Kimmer Coppejans of Belgium 6-4, 6-4. The 34-year-old from Munich capitalized on four of his 11 break-point chances to advance after one hour and 26 minutes. Up next for Bachinger will be either the tournament’s top seed and home favourite Emil Ruusuvuori or Russian qualifier Alexander Shevchenko.
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The bottom half of the draw is led by No. 2 seed Henri Laaksonen. The 29-year-old, who was born in Finland but represents Switzerland, will start his title bid against Denis Istomin from Uzbekistan.
No. 3 seed Alex Molcan from Slovakia will oppose Dutchman Tim van Rijthoven and fourth seed Egor Gerasimov of Belarus will play against Czech qualifier Jonas Forejtek.
In-form German Oscar Otte, who captured two ATP Challenger titles in the last three weeks, is seeded fifth. The World No. 116 will try to continue his good run of form against Damir Dzumhur from Bosnia and Herzegovina in the first round. The winner of this encounter will face Jurij Rodionov of Austria, who edged past Mohamed Safwat from Egypt 7-5, 6-4.