Maximilian Marterer Stuns Almagro, Filip Krajinovic Storms Into @IfSthlmOpen
Adam Addicott, Tennis Atlantic
Top seed Nicolas Almagro has failed in the final stage to qualify for the main draw of the Stockholm Open.
Almagro brushed aside Ukraine’s Vadim Alekseenko in the first round, but had a difficult match in the second round against Croatia’s Mate Pavic. Pavic specializes in doubles where he is ranked 54th in the world. The world No.73 required over two hours to defeat the Croat 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 to move to the final round. In the final round Almagro came undone against Germany’s Maximilian Marterer. The 20-year-old is currently at a career ranking high of 243 in the world and has won four Futures titles this year (three in Germany and one in Italy). Throughout the final match Almagro faced nine break points (saving seven of them) compared to Masterer’s two. The German broke Almagro twice, once in each set, to take the surprise 6-3, 6-4 victory. Merterer will play in an ATP main draw for the second time in his career where he will be bidding to win his first match on the main stage of tennis.
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Second seed Filip Krajinovic enjoyed better success than Almagro during his qualifying campaign. The Serbian is currently ranked 94th in the world and has claimed two Challenger titles this year in Braunschweig and Cordenons. The first round of the draw was the most testing match for Krajinovic. Facing Croatian world No. 556 Filip Veger, Krajinovic fended off two set points in the first set to win 7-6 (4), 6-3. Following his opening victory, the second seed was more convincing in the second round by dropping three games against Swedish wild card Carl Söderlund (6-3, 6-0). In the final round, he faced another Swede, Milos Sekulic. Sekulic is currently ranked 1062 in the singles and 643 in the doubles. He has won two doubles titles this year on the Futures circuit. Krajinovic required 55 minutes on the court as he crushed Sekulic 6-2, 6-1.
Misha Zverev joined his brother in the main draw by dropping 12 games in three matches. The 28-year-old beat Christopher Solberg (6-2, 6-1) in the first round followed by New Zealand’s Michael Venus (6-2, 6-2) in the second. In the final round, he faced a potentially tough task against sixth-seeded Hungarian Márton Fucsovics. The task was, however easier than expected as the German cruised past Fucsovics 6-4, 6-1.
Finally Croatia’s Ante Pavic qualified for the main draw in what is one of the biggest achievements of his season. The Croat has been ranked as high as 132 in 2014 but a six-month injury time out at the start of 2015 as well as poor results had lead to to him slipping down to 656 in the world. He avoided a second round showdown with Romanian third seed Marius Copil after he was knocked out in the first round by Jesse Huta Galung. Galund was also problematic for Pavic but he took the match in two close tie breaks – 7-6 (1), 7-6 (3). In the final round Pavic faced Italian fifth seed Federico Gaio. Gaio is ranked 225th in the world and has won two Italian Futures titles this year. Despite being over 400 places below Gaio, the Croat battled to take the match 7-6 (6), 6-4.
First Round Matches
Krajinovic, Filip (Q) vs. Dimitrov, Grigor – (Dimitrov lead the H2H 2-0).
Zverev, Mischa (Q) vs. Muller, Gilles – (Zverev leads 1-0, 2007 Istanbul Challenger)
Marterer, Maximilian (Q) vs. Mayer, Leonardo – first meeting
Delbonis, Federico vs. Pavic, Ante (Q) – – first meeting