30 year old Leonardo Mayer lost in qualifying in Hamburg, but came back to win the title 6-4 4-6 6-3 over home hero Florian Mayer of Germany. Mayer was under pressure on serve in the third set, and got nipped in the second, but fought hard on clay to get the win. The Argentine has two career ATP titles and they have both come in Hamburg. After taking a lucky loser spot he defeated Albert Ramos from a set down, needing a third set tiebreak to grab the upset. Jan-Lennard Struff, Jiri Vesely, and Federico Delbonis, his countryman, fell to him prior to final. The elder Mayer, 33, defeated Marco Cecchinato, Andrey Kuznetsov, Diego Schwartzman, and Philipp Kohlschreiber to reach the final. The result for both Mayer’s boosts their rankings, as Hamburg is probably the weakest 500 level stop on tour.
Ivan Dodig and Mate Pavic won the doubles final over Pablo Cuevas and Marc Lopez.
Fabio Fognini won his fourth ATP title, defeating qualifier Yannick Hanfmann, a first time ATP finalist, 6-4 7-5. It was a long week for Fognini, he needed three sets against Norbert Gombos, Ernests Gulbis, and Roberto Bautista Agut. Hanfmann, 25, won six matches to reach his first career final, and needed three sets in all of his main draw wins, a rare feat that both players needed the maximum number of sets in their matches to reach the final. Hanfmann has 7 ATP wins this year, prior to this year he had none.
Olivier Marach and Philipp Oswald beat Jonathan Eysseric and Franko Skugor in the doubles final.
2016 ATP Grass Court Season Recap: Murray and Thiem Soar Steen Kirby, Tennis Atlantic
The last four ATP grass court tournaments after the French Open featured most of the top players looking to get practice before Wimbledon, and a host of players making strong runs. Many of these players will likely find themselves wishing their was more grass court tennis after Wimbledon, while others are already ready for hard court action.
Austrian superstar Dominic Thiem has moved into the top 8 after his fourth title of the season was won in Stuttgart at the Mercedes Cup. Thiem has won titles on all of the surfaces (hard court, clay, and grass) already this season and has clearly demonstrated his all-court prowess. Thiem beat Sam Groth, Mikhail Youzhny, and grass court legend Roger Federer, before toppling Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber in the final. Only against Groth did Thiem not drop a set, but he showed great fight to prevail in his matches. Kohlschreiber had defeated Thiem earlier this season in a clay final, so the Austrian got his revenge.
The German defeated Pierre-Hugues Herbert, Denis Kudla, Radek Stepanek, and Juan Martin Del Potro to reach the final. Del Potro showed great form as he continues his return from serious wrist injuries.
Marcus Daniell and Artem Sitak defeated Fabrice Martin and Oliver Marach in the doubles final.
ATP ‘s-Hertogenbosch (Den Bosch)
Nicolas Mahut won a second consecutive, and a third overall Den Bosch title as he defeated fellow big server Gilles Muller in the final. Mahut defeated Lukas Lacko, Paul-Henri Mathieu, Bernard Tomic, and Sam Querrey en route to the final, surviving in three sets against all but Lacko and Muller. The Frenchman clearly enjoys playing in Holland.
Muller contested his second career ATP final as he defeated Robin Haase, Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, David Ferrer, and Ivo Karlovic to get that far. Both Ferrer and Tomic disappointing. At 33 he’s still looking for an elusive first ATP title.
Mate Pavic and Michael Venus defeated Dominic Inglot and Raven Klaasen in the doubles final as New Zealanders won both doubles titles on offer last week.
Florian Mayer stunningly captured his first title since 2011 as the oft-injured German will return to the top 100. Mayer defeated countryman Alexander Zverev in the final, the passionate Zverev simply didn’t have consistency to prevail in the third set. Mayer with his funky game has seen a resurgence in his tennis on grass this season. The 32 year old defeated Brian Baker, got a walkover against Kei Nishikori, and then defeated Andreas Seppi, and the in-form Dominic Thiem to reach the final.
The 19 year old Zverev dropped his second career ATP final after posting wins over Viktor Troicki, Benjamin Becker, Marcos Baghdatis, and most surprisingly, Roger Federer in three sets. Federer will now enter Wimbledon without a grass court title, though he entered two events. The Swiss legend hasn’t won an ATP title this season.
Raven Klaasen and Rajeev Ram defeated Alexander Peya and Lukasz Kubot in the doubles final.
Andy Murray was a set and a break down against Milos Raonic before he fought back to capture a fifth career London Queen’s title. Murray defeated Nicolas Mahut, Aljaz Bedene, Kyle Edmund, and Marin Cilic, as he dropped sets against Edmund and Cilic, along with Raonic. Murray has been in tremendous form as he moved to 33-6 on the season with two ATP titles. Murray hasn’t lost a match before the final since Monte Carlo.
Raonic defeated Nick Kyrgios, Jiri Vesely, Roberto Bautista Agut, and Bernard Tomic to reach his third ATP final of the season. The Canadian has established himself as a possible Wimbledon dark horse.
Nicolas Mahut and Pierre-Hugues Herbert defeated Chris Guccione and Andre Sa in the doubles final as they will perhaps be the Wimbledon men’s doubles favorites given their prowess on grass and great success this season as a team.
Tipsarevic upsets Tomic, Pospisil comes up short against Thiem 2015 ATP Munich Tuesday Marc Imperatori for Tennis Atlantic
Photo Credit: Marc Imperatori
In my report yesterday I mentioned the great weather in Munich. Somehow I officially jinxed it. Originally, play was scheduled to begin at 11 AM but the rain made it impossible to start until 3 PM. Thereafter it was still pretty cold which is why you´ll hear a lot about the conditions in the paragraphs below.
At 3 P.M. local time, four Singles main draw matches were played simultaneously. On centre court Lukas Rosol dismantled Florian Mayer 6-2, 6-2. Even though his season was average at best so far, the Czech played a fantastic match. He was very aggressive from the beginning (an early break certainly helped) and never let Mayer come back in the match. The body language was pretty obvious in this case. While Rosol seemed as focused and concentrated as against Nadal in his breakthrough win in 2012 at Wimbledon, Mayer looked like he didn´t really want to be out there in the cold. In the post match-interview Rosol revealed that he liked the conditions since it suits his big-hitting style. Also kudos to him for just wearing a t-shirt when the crowd was full of winter jackets! In R2 he will meet Sergiy Stakhovsky who beat lucky loser Mikhail Ledovskikh 6-0, 6-0 in 36 minutes.
Rosol was a cool customer (photo credit: Marc Imperatori)
Florian Mayer explained in a short press conference that he was very happy with the way he played in Monte Carlo & Bucharest after his long injury time-out. He stated that he´s absolutely pain-free at the moment and elaborated why he didn´t commit to the Madrid Masters next week. He´s not willing to waste his protected ranking for a tournament that´s pretty bad for him anyway because of the altitude.
On Court 1 Dominic Thiem beat Vasek Pospisil 5-7 6-4 7-6(9). In the first set Pospisil broke for the set by playing a very good return game. In the second set Thiem broke at 3-3 and never gave it back. In the third set Thiem broke Pospisil in the opening game and had break points to go up a double break. However, he got tight as he admitted in the post-match presser, failed to convert them and eventually lost his serve, too. In the decisive tie-break both player saved match points until Thiem hit a great backhand down the line passing shot to finally win the match.
Pospisil played a great clay match but still came up short (photo credit: Marc Imperatori)
In R2 his opponent will be “Nadal-killer“, and defending finalist Fabio Fognini. The Italian later won against Bastian Trinker, an Austrian lucky loser, 6-2 7-6. In yesterday´s report I claimed that Trinker lacked experience against ATP level players and that he had troubles when constantly set under pressure. After watching today´s match against Fognini I stand by my opinion. After less than 30 minutes Fognini was up 6-2 2-0. Trinker broke back from 40-0 down in the fourth game of the set because Fognini was a bit more sloppy and Trinker himself started to be more confident. Yet, the Italian was too good for him and was never really in trouble.
Fognini scored a comfortable result (photo credit: Marc Imperatori)
On court 2, Janko Tipsarevic won a close encounter against Bernard Tomic 5-7 6-1 7-6(3). After being a break down in the second set Tomic more or less tanked the rest of set 2 including a beautiful monologue in which he promised to himself to never come back to this “fucking town“ of Munich again, even if they offered him money. Apparently he didn´t like to play in the cold. In the third set Tomic showed how much he changed in 2015 by upping his level again to play as well as in the opening set. At 5-4 he even had match point on Tipsarevic´ serve though the Serbian saved it with a great backhand winner down the line. Tomic may be upset now for staying too passive in this point. In the tie-break Tipsarevic got an early mini-break and dominated from then on. Tipsarevic´ opponent is Victor Estrella Burgos who already won his R1 match yesterday.
On court 3 Radek Stepanek defeated Farrukh Dustov by retirement. It must be said that Stepanek was leading 6-1, 4-1 anyway. With Roberto Bautista-Agut waiting in the next round, Stepanek will need to play his very best in R2.
In the next match on centre court (after Rosol vs. Mayer) we experienced another Germany vs. Czech Republic battle. Even though”battle“ might be slightly exaggerated. This time the German, Philipp Kohlschreiber, outplayed the Czech, Jiri Vesely, 6-1 6-2. In the post-match press conference Kohlschreiber said that he was surprised by how well he played today. Additionally, he admitted that the conditions favoured him a lot more than Vesely. Kohlschreiber´s tactical approach to use angles instead of power and to keep the ball in play instead of going for too much worked out very well. When asked about his next match against Alexander Zverev, Kohlschreiber praised Zverev´s talent and game.
Kohli was positive in press (photo credit: Marc Imperatori)
In another R1 match of the day Mischa Zverev (Alex´ older brother) edged his fellow countryman Jan-Lennard Struff out 7-6, 3-6, 6-4. In opposite to yesterday Zverev had to play with more depth and be more aggressive than against Gombos. From what I saw he still played consistent tennis from the baseline with some variety and also he attacked in the right moment. Apparently this was enough to win the match. Mischa Zverev´s next opponent is no other than Andy Murray.
Zverev had a strange return position against Struff (photo credit: Marc Imperatori)
In the remaining R1 match between Simone Bolelli and Dustin Brown, Bolelli won 6-1 7-6(2). The Italian will now face David Goffin, a player who impressed me very much in the training sessions and is my pick for reaching the final from the bottom half.
Pablo Andujar vs. Joao Souza as well as all doubles matches were shifted to tomorrow.
2015 ATP Munich Preview Steen Kirby and Marc Imperatori, Tennis Atlantic
Completing the trio of ATP World Tour events this week is the clay court event in Munich, with the strongest field of all tournaments this week. Alongside Estoril and Istanbul, Tennis Atlantic is pleased to have on-site credentialed coverage for the week from Marc Imperatori, who will be reporting on all the action from Bavaria, so keep checking the site for that, in the meantime, here is the preview.
2015 ATP Munich Preview
BMW Open by FWU AG ATP World Tour 250 Munich, Germany April 27-May 3, 2015 Prize Money: € 439,405
Top 4 seeds (who all receive first round byes) (ATP ranking in parentheses)
1: Andy Murray (3)
2: Gael Monfils (15)*
3: Roberto Bautista Agut (16)
4: David Goffin (21)
*Monfils withdrew and was replaced by a lucky loser
All 8 seeds are top 30 players, as Munich has the strongest field by ranking this week.
A good form test for funky Flo Mo, still working his way back from injury, he has beaten Rosol on clay before at a challenger, but he’s lost two straight matches now in Monte Carlo and Bucharest, and will be looking to regain positive momentum on home soil. Rosol is just 1-2 on European clay this year, and is also badly in need of a win in this matchup. It’s hard to predict, but I have Mayer winning myself.
(6)Bernard Tomic vs. (WC)Janko Tipsarevic
Tomic is favored against Tipsarevic, who is also working his way back from injury, that said, Janko has a good chance at an “upset” in this one, Tomic is not a clay court player, and if Tipsarevic was even at half of his peak level he would be the favorite. They have never played before, and Tipsarevic is 2-2 since his comeback, while Tomic lost in round 2 of Monte Carlo. He’s had a reliable season so far, in fact the bets of his career in terms of consistency, but his play in Monte Carlo was worrisome, and I have Tipsarevic in an upset in this one, as he seems to be improving in every match he plays back on tour.
Kohli won a 4 setter against Vesely at the French in 2013, when Jiri was still a raw youngster, now though he’s reached his second career ATP final, coming off last week in Bucharest. His form has been incredibly streaky this season, where he is either winning matches (Auckland, Bucharest) or losing back to back to back (AO-Miami). That said, his form seems to have picked up with clay, while Kohlschreiber has not had a good season, and at 31 he may be slowing down. He did reach the quarters in Barcelona, and perhaps the ace in his pocket in this matchup is he’s a two time champ, so he knows the venue and plays well here. I expect three sets, and Kohlschreiber to edge out a fatigued Vesely in the end.
Newlywed Andy Murray is making his European clay debut in Munich as the top seed, and I’d expect him to defeat German JL Struff or qualifier Mischa Zverev in his opening match. After that, Rosol/Mayer or Sergiy Stakhovsky/lucky loser Mikhail Ledovskikh will also be underdogs against him in the quarters. Stako is not a clay courter, and the lucky loser will have a chance to defeat him, that said, I have Murray over Mayer in the quarters.Of note, though Murray is 2-0 on clay against Flo, Mayer actually beat Murray when he was coming back from back surgery in 2014 in Doha, only this time it’s Mayer coming back from an injury. Overall, with this 250 level event, Murray shouldn’t drop a set before the semis, as it’s an easy draw for him.
3 seed Roberto Bautista Agut will open with Farrukh Dustov, who hasn’t played in a bit, or qualifier Radek Stepanek a fading veteran, like Murray, I’d expect him to get off to an easy start against a weak opponent probably Stepanek, and then have more of a test in the quarters with either Tipsarevic/Tomic, or Viktor Troicki/Victor Estrella. Estrella continues to impress given his age, he beat Dominic Thiem and Marin Cilic in Barcelona to reach the round of 16, and also won a round in Monte Carlo, while Troicki has lost two straight matches. Troicki has a h2h win on indoor hard over Estrella, but I have VEB winning and then beating Tipsarevic as well to reach the quarters, before falling to the Barcelona quarterfinalist RBA who is 4-2 in last two clay court tournaments with a pair of top 30 wins. The seeds should hold and a Murray-RBA semi is likely.
2 seed Gael Monfils withdrew with a knee injury, and thus qualifier Gerald Melzer will take his place. Melzer is likely to matchup with Barcelona finalist Pablo Andujar who made a shock run to the final there (7-4 on clay in 2015), depending if Andujar is tired, and we’ll know based off of how he plays against the struggling Joao Souza, he should reach the quarters, and he’s likely to face Fabio Fognini, who he routined in the Barcelona quarters at that stage. Fognini beat Nadal in Barcelona (for the second time this year), but he’s been pedestrian all season against players not named Nadal, not to mention incredibly erratic. That said he was a finalist here last year so he’s had success, and thus should beat lucky loser Bastian Trinker, and then the Vasek Pospisil/Dominic Thiem winner. Thiem has talent, and he’s done well on clay, but he’s struggling right now, and thus look for Fognini to win, and also beat a fatigued Andujar to reach the semis.
David Goffin will face qualifier Dustin Brown, or Simone Bolelli in his opening match, Bolelli beat Goffin this year on hard courts, and he reached the quarterfinals in Bucharest, while Goffin will seek to improve his clay prospects in just his second tournament on the surface this season. That will be a tough match to pick, and I have Bolelli going through to face the Vesely/Kohlschreiber winner, as Kohli should beat Alex Zverev/Benjamin Becker in round 2, a battle of the German young gun against a veteran German.
Kohli is 2-0 against Bolelli on clay, and given his previous success here, I have the veteran German into the semis.
Bolelli has a chance to reach the final presuming he can upset Goffin, Kohlschreiber/Vesely, and perhaps Monfils (or Fognini/Thiem) in the semis. He just lost to Monfils in Bucharest, and would have to flip the script to do that, that said he’s a talented shotmaker who can have good runs of success on clay, consistency has been his primary issue.
Semis: Murray d. Bautista Agut
Kohlschreiber d. Fognini
Murray has never played RBA on clay, that said, even though clay is his worst surface, the Spaniard hasn’t been a world beater as of late and thus I’d give a consistent Murray, who has been great against all but elite players the edge.
Kohli has a 2-1 h2h against Fognini, and their clay court h2h is split 1-1, Fognini may be in better form, but he’s terribly unreliable, and Kohlschreiber tends to play well in Munich, thus I have him through.
Final: Murray d. Kohlschreiber
Look for Murray to get his first clay court title this week with the withdrawal of Monfils, he beat Kohli in a thriller at RG last year, and he’s outperformed the German in terms of level of play this season.