Galan, Zapata Miralles Make Winning Return To Neckarcup

Daniel Elahi Galan (photo: Florian Heer)

HEILBRONN, May 9, 2022

Main draw action at the 2022 NECKARCUP kicked off on a sunny Monday in Heilbronn and both of last year’s finalists made a winning return to the southwest corner of Germany.

Defending champion Bernabe Zapata Miralles of Spain outlasted Romanian veteran Marius Copil 6-7(5), 6-4, 6-4 in the final match of the day. In a battle of the wild card entries, the No. 4 seed capitalized on seven of his eight break-point chances to secure victory in two hours and seven minutes.

“I didn’t feel good today. Sometimes it’s difficult to play the first round. I didn’t compete in a tournament last week, I only practiced. Physically it was difficult today but I fought until the end and tried to return well, which I managed to do in the third set. My serve also improved and this was key today,” Zapata Miralles told Tennis TourTalk.

“I am very happy to be here. I missed to sign in for the tournament. It’s been the first time that happened to me. So, thanks to the organization for the wild card into the main draw. It’s not all about to defend the title. I will go match by match and try to stay focused all the time.”

The World No. 113 will next take on the winner of the all-German affair between alternate Nicola Kuhn and qualifier Rudolf Molleker.

Galan stays solid

Last year’s runner-up Daniel Elahi Galan began his 2022 campaign with a solid 6-3, 6-4 win over Jesse Sels from the Netherlands. The third-seeded Colombian saved all four break points he faced and capitalized on two of his own six break-point chances to advance in one hour and 15 minutes.

“I served well. That was key today,” Galan told Tennis TourTalk afterwards. “I am glad to be back. The Cebeci family did a great job again. It will be a tough tournament, though with a lot of strong players in the field. I hope that I can keep my level up and go as far as possible.”

Galan will next play either #NextGenATP Swiss Dominic Stricker or qualifier Benjamin Hassan from Lebanon.

Qualifiers complete main draw

Earlier in the day, six qualifiers rounded out the main draw. German youngsters Henri Squire and Molleker will be joined by Sumit Nagal of India, Benjamin Hassan from Lebanon, Oleksii Krutykh of Ukraine and Jonas Forejtek from the Czech Republic.

RESULTS – MAY 09, 2022Singles – First Round[3] D. Galan (COL) d [Alt] J. Sels (NED) 63 64[4] [WC] B. Zapata Miralles (ESP) d [WC] M. Copil (ROU) 67(5) 64 64[5] C. Tseng (TPE) d E. Escobedo (USA) 62 63[Alt] A. Ritschard (SUI) d [6] R. Albot (MDA) 63 63C. Ugo Carabelli (ARG) d [7] M. Huesler (SUI) 36 63 76(7)

Qualifying Singles – Second Round[1] J. Forejtek (CZE) d [10] M. Bachinger (GER) 62 60R. Molleker (GER) d [2] M. Zekic (SRB) 63 76(4)[3] S. Nagal (IND) d [11] A. Gautier (FRA) 64 20 Retired[8] B. Hassan (LIB) d [5] J. Lenz (GER) 46 64 42 Retired[9] O. Krutykh (UKR) d [6] N. Sanchez Izquierdo (ESP) 64 64[12] H. Squire (GER) d [Alt] J. Haerteis (GER) 64 21 Retired