MUNICH, April 26, 2016
Due to persistent rain and snow, only two first round singles matches could be finished on Tuesday at the BMW Open by FWU AG in Munich.
Mikhail Kukushkin benefited from the retirement of Evgeny Donskoy, who stopped the match when the Kazakh was leading 6-2, 3-0 after 33 minutes due to a hip injury. Kukushkin awaits the winner of the match between fifth seed Fabio Fognini and German wild card Maximilian Marterer.
Ahead of his opening match in Munich, local hero Philipp Kohlschreiber met the media at the MTTC Iphitos. He lifted two trophies here in Bavaria in 2007 and 2012 and finished runner-up last year, losing to Andy Murray on a Monday final.
“It’s going to be tougher than usual due to the weather but the tournament in Munich is part of my heart. I enjoyed a fantastic week here last year, plus the final on Monday. I am really looking forward to the event and hope to achieve as similar good results in 2016 as in the past,” Kohlschreiber is happy to be back in Munich.
“My practice base is close to the venue, which I have known for many years,” the Augsburg native told about the keys for his successful appearances at his home tournament. “I played Bundesliga team competition for the club and you always meet some friends here. The conditions with the altitude suit my game and playing in front of the home crowd is always a great experience.”
After receiving a first round bye, Kohlschreiber’s opening opponent on Thursday will be Florian Mayer, who won the battle between two German qualifiers. Mayer defeated Matthias Bachinger 6-4, 6-4. It was the first tour-level match for both players with the 32-year-old from Bayreuth winning 69% of his first service points to advance after one hour and 13 minutes.
“I haven’t played for eight months, only did one qualification match in Bucharest last week. This is a great start for me here in Munich, winning three matches in a row,” Mayer was pleased afterwards. During his injury break, he traveled to Patagonia and completed a training as personal fitness coach.
“It is getting tougher every year to come back. I am getting older and the young players on the tour are absolutely fit. Even on Challenger level, you have to work hard for every victory,” the world number 267 added. Mayer was granted a wild card into the Neckarcup in Heilbronn and will also play at Roland Garros, using his protected ranking.
“Facing Philipp in the next round is obviously not the best draw. We are good friends and we would have preferred to play another opponent so early in the tournament but you cannot change it,” Mayer stated.
“This year’s draw is very interesting,” Kohlschreiber said. “About three weeks ago I had some practice sessions with Flo here in Munich. We know each other very well. It is always difficult to play against him. He breaks your rhythm during the matches and he is simply a fantastic player, as his game is different compared to other players on the tour. I am very happy for him that he is back on the court. He played a great qualification and battled through his opening round match today as well. Nonetheless, I hope to win the match and look forward to it.”
Kohlschreiber made it into the semi-finals at the Barcelona Banc Sabadell Open last week. He lost to Rafael Nadal on Saturday.
“I had a great week in Barcelona and gained a lot of confidence. With his victory in Monte Carlo, Nadal proved that he is back on the tour. He forces you into errors on court. I lost to a very strong opponent. The top guys are wide awake in the deciding moments,” the world number 27 explained but he still has the goal to climb up the rankings.
“I still feel very young and there is still the goal to break into the area of the top rankings. I enjoy every year on the tour.”
The matches Cedric-Marcel Stebe against Victor Estrella Burgos (5-5), Marco Cecchinato against Igor Sijsling (1-3) and Malek Jaziri against Next Generation star Alexander Zverev (5-4) had to be postponed to Wednesday. Yet, snow and cold will create harsh conditions again into Wednesday for the competitors.