Monfils, Klizan Withdrawals Mar Exciting Monday of Action at 2015 @bmwopenbyfwuag
Marc Imperatori for Tennis Atlantic
The third day of the BMW Open in Munich featured some bad news for the tournament organizers and fans. Title defender Martin Klizan and, just like in 2014, Gael Monfils had to withdraw. However, the rest of the day included good matches, great weather and lots of action on the practice courts.
First up, the final qualifying round was played. On center court Dustin Brown defeated his countryman Nils Langer in a close battle 6-3 4-6 7-6(7). Langer was 6-4 up in the decisive tie-break. When Langer had match point on serve, a bad bounce led to a mishit. Brown then got another mini-break to get a 7-6 lead before he double-faulted on match point. Yet he was able to close this match out when Langer missed a forehand at 7-8. In the post-match interview Brown admitted that he felt nervous due to suffering close losses in recent weeks.
The next match on CC was Mischa Zverev from Germany against the Norbert Gombos from Slovakia. This match really gave you some club tennis feeling. One player was mostly pushing (Zverev) and by pushing I really mean just putting the ball in play without great pace, spin or angle. And the other one (Gombos) went for very big shots but missed way too many. In the first set Gombos hit 8 Double Faults, all in all it was 13 (fitting that he ended the match with one). Some of the second serves were 3-4 meters wide. The final score was 7-6 6-2 in Zverev´s favour. He´s going to play against another German, Jan-Lennard Struff, in his R1 match tomorrow.
On court 1 Radek Stepanek faced Bastian Trinker from Austria. The match included some great points by both players but Trinker´s lack of experience against players of Stepanek´s calibre was obvious. With his ability to deal with fast and slow balls and his constant attempt to put his opponent under pressure, Stepanek was a really bad match-up for the Austrian. Stepanek won 6-2 6-2 and will face Farrukh Dustov from Uzbekistan in R1. Trinker on the other hand benefited from the late withdrawals. Due to getting a lucky loser spot he´ll face Fabio Fognini in R1. Both matches will be played tomorrow.
The next match on this court included two lucky ones: Mikhail Ledovskikh and Gerald Melzer. The latter won 6-3 3-6 7-6(4). Ledovskikh got lucky by receiving a lucky loser spot to face Stakhovsky in R1 while Melzer got lucky by getting drawn in Monfils´ spot which means he got a bye in R1 and automatically qualified for R2.
Final qualifying round results:
Dustin Brown def. Nils Langer 6-3, 4-6, 7-6(7)
Radek Stepanek def. Bastian Trinker 6-2, 6-2
Gerald Melzer def. Mikhail Ledovskikh 6-3, 3-6 7-6(4)
Mischa Zverev def. Norbert Gombos 7-6(5) 6-2
In the meantime there was also a press conference with highest-ranked German Philipp Kohlschreiber. He was talking about his R1 opponent Jiri Vesely who´s in great shape but could also be tired, and his form, which is good since Indian Wells according to him. Additionally topics discussed by Peppo was the threat of Andy Murray, who is a great addition to the tournament, the tournament itself, which is very important to him. It was the first one he ever played and where he claimed his first ATP title, and about feeling pressure of defending points on clay in the next weeks. Kohlschreiber told that he used to feel lots of pressure when he was younger. Nowadays, he is more relaxed and likes to know that he played well at certain tournaments or seasons in the past.
Afterwards the first main draw matches were played on Centre Court. First, two players who are both rising in the rankings faced off: Victor Estrella Burgos and Viktor Troicki. In the first set there were no breaks of serve, therefore the set was decided in a tie-break. A forehand unforced Error by Troicki gave Estrella Burgos a decisive mini-break to win the set. In the second set both players were very good on serve once again. At 3-3 a commercial side fence was flickering which lead to a 10 minutes break.
At 5-4* Troicki served to stay in the match. Hitting two unforced errors and a double fault made him go down 15-40. The first match point was saved by great attacking tennis before he once again hit an unforced error so the Dominican won 7-6 6-4.
During the whole match it was interesting to see how Troicki, who is a very good counter-puncher, had troubles to create his own pace after Estrella´s low slices. Trying this (making Troicki hit slower balls) gave him enough time to run around his backhand to take advantage of his extra-ordinary forehand. That tactic worked pretty well for him and was, in my opinion, the main reason he won the match.
The last match of the day was a battle of young (Alexander Zverev) against old (Benjamin Becker). In the first set Becker was playing very aggressive. Zverev couldn´t quite deal with that hence Becker clinched the first set 6-4. In the next set things were completely different. It was a mixture of Zverev getting a better read on Becker´s game and Becker just playing worse (hitting many unforced errors). After 1-1 Zverev won 5 straight games to make it 6-1. After an early break by Zverev, Becker began to slightly up his level again until Zverev broke again in the seventh game of the set. Finally, Zverev won the match 4-6, 6-1, 6-2. His R2 opponent will be either Philipp Kohlschreiber or Jiri Vesely.
Round 1 results:
Victor Estrella Burgos def. Viktor Troicki 7-6(4) 6-4
(WC)Alexander Zverev def. Benjamin Becker 4-6 6-1 6-2
Tomorrow the ten remaining R1 matches as well as well as some doubles matches (including Andy Murray/Rojer) are scheduled. With Mayer vs. Rosol, Kohlschreiber vs. Vesely and Tipsarevic vs. Tomic there are quite some interesting matches to follow.