Mannarino, Janowicz Surge Into @_Swiss_Indoors Main Draw
Adam Addicott, Tennis Atlantic
The 2015 Swiss Indoors tournament has a star-studded field with eight out of the world’s top 16 players participating in the event. Headlining the strong field is Roger Federer, who will be bidding to claim a historic seventh title in Basel. Ahead of the main draw, two rounds of qualifying took place with 16 men battling for four places in the main draw.
French top seed Adrian Mannarino endured a bumpy ride into the main draw. In his first round of qualifying he defeated Australia’s John-Patrick Smith (6-4, 6-4), to set up a meeting with American fifth seed Denis Kudla. Kudla moved into the second round after his opponent, Serbia’s Filip Krajinovic, retired at the start of the third set. Mannarino was in danger of losing to Kudla as he trailed 4-0 in the deciding set of the match. Despite the odds being in Kudla’s favour, he failed to maintain the lead as Mannarino clawed his way back to win 6-2, 2-6, 6-4, after an hour and forty-eight minutes.
Mannarino will play in the main draw of the tournament for the second time of his career. The first was in 2013 where he lost in the opening round to Roger Federer. The 27-year-old will be aiming to reach his third ATP final this year after Auckland, New Zealand in January and Bogota, Colombia in July. In the first round Mannarino will play Serbia’s Viktor Troicki for the first time in his career. At 42 in the world, Mannarino is currently ranked 18 places lower than Troicki.
There was consolation for Kudla after he received a lucky loser place in the main draw following the withdrawal of Marcos Baghdatis. In the main draw he will play fellow American Jack Sock. Kudla has played sock on four previous occasions, losing in three of them. Their most recent meeting was in the first round of the Canadian Open where Sock won in three sets.
Former Wimbledon semifinalist Jerzy Janowicz was more convincing in his qualifying campaign. The world No.65 recently underwent surgery on his left knee when he had stem cells injected into it. In the first round, he brushed aside Spanish wild card Jaume Munar (6-1,6-3). The fourth seed faced a potentially tricky match against former top 10 player Minhail Youzhny, who beat Georgian sixth seed Nikoloz Basilashvili in straight sets. The Russian was no match for Janowicz as the Polish player defeated Youzhny 6-4,6-1 after 65 minutes.
Janowicz will play Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber in the first round. The Pole will be hoping to repeat his form displayed during last week’s Vienna Open where he stunned fifth seed Dominic Thiem in the first round. It is this second time this year that Janowicz has played the German. Their first encounter was in the second round of the Stuttgart Open where Kohlschreiber won in straight sets.
Robin Haase overcame a testing second round match to reach the main draw. In the first round, he Defeated Swiss wild card Adrien Bossel (6-2,6-4) to meet Benjamin Becker. Becker dropped just three games in his opening match against Swiss qualifier Antoine Bellier. Despite being broken four times in the second set by the German, Haase edged past Becker 6-4, 7-6 (4).
Haase’s first round opponent will be Austrian 22-year-old Dominic Thiem. The Dutch player currently has a 100% winning record against Thiem after winning their two previous meetings (2014 Vienna Open and 2015 Davis Cup).
Completing the lineup is Serbia’s Dusan Lajovic, who survived a marathon encounter. After a straight sets win over France’s Paul-Henri Mathieu, he faced Belgium Ruben Bemelmans. The Belgian stunned second seed Albert Ramos-Vinolas in the first round. Lajovic was two points away from defeat but held his nerve as he edged his way past Bemelmans 7-6 (3), 6-7 (5), 6-4, after two hours and eleven minutes.
Lajovic’s reward for surviving his marathon match will be a clash with Ukraine’s Alexandr Dolgopolov. The Serbian will be seeking revenge after losing in three sets to Dolgopolov in the third round of the 2014 Miami Masters.