September 4, 2015

Two-Time Munich Champion Kohlschreiber Falls in First Round

Philipp Kohlschreiber

Philipp Kohlschreiber

By Florian Heer

(April 29, 2014) MUNICH – It was a busy second day at the BMW Open by FWU AG with the eight remaining first round singles matches all taking to court on Tuesday.

In the opening match on Centre Court qualifier Jan-Lennard Struff took revenge on Feliciano López for the defeat in Hamburg last year. This time the German, who turned 24 last week, emerged victorious in his Munich debut winning 6-3, 6-4 in 78 minutes and the first seeded player of the tournament was knocked out. “Feliciano prefers to play in sunny conditions when the courts are faster,” Struff analysed afterwards. “I knew from our last meeting that I needed to keep fighting and I’m happy that it worked out in end,” the German youngster added.

Another German hope, however, was not that successful. Only 17-year-old Alexander Zverev, who captured the Australian Open junior title this year, was without any chance in his tournament debut against Jürgen Melzer. The Austrian veteran dominated the encounter beating the teenager in 63 minutes. 6-1, 6-2.

In his tenth appearance on home soil, Philipp Kohlschreiber was actually looking to complete a hat-trick of Munich titles this week. However, last year’s finalist had to face Denis Istomin for a third time on the ATP Tour and the German has never been able to gain a victory against the Uzbekistan native. Today’s match should not be an exception. In an exciting encounter on Centre Court it was Istomin in the end winning 7-5, 2-6, 6-4 after two hours and three minutes.

“I didn’t have any physical problems in my match today,” Kohlschreiber said after he was forced to retire last week in Barcelona. “I just wasn’t able to capitalize on my chances as well as to make the big points, in particular in the third set. I also think that I faced a very tough opponent today, who served big and eventually he was better in the decisive moments. I think Denis is a really good player, not only due to the fact that I lost three times against him, but he has a lot of good shots and I think he could be ranked higher. There are only few weaknesses in his game. I think I played pretty well but he was really solid,” the 30-year-old German complimented Istomin on his performance today. “Of course I would have preferred to stay longer in the tournament. Madrid will start on Sunday, so I think that I will start my journey to the Masters over there on Thursday or Friday,” Kohlschreiber talked about his further plans and added that he is not going to attend Tuesday’s football Champions League semi-finals between Bayern Munich and Real Madrid live in the Allianz Arena, but will watch it on television.

With lucky loser Michael Berrer another German had to suffer defeat in his match against Andreas Seppi. The seventh-seeded Italian sealed victory in one hour and 24 minutes winning 6-3, 7-5.

A disappointing day for the local players concluded in the defeat of Peter Gojowczyk against Sergiy Stakhovsky. Right when the sun came out over Munich’s Centre Court, the German wild card ran out of steam after winning the opening set. The Ukrainian took the match 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 after one hour and 27 minutes.

Lleyton Hewitt was last up on Centre Court today returning to Munich for the second time. His only previous outing in Bavaria’s capital came in 2009 when he advanced into the quarterfinal. The Australian went up against Spanish qualifier Albert Ramos for the first time. The 33-year-old former No. 1 took the opening set in the tie-break but Ramos eventually found his rhythm serving the second frame out in the seventh game. The Spaniard improved continuously to finally advance into the next round right before sunset winning 6-7, 6-1, 6-0 after two hours and 16 minutes.

Earlier in the day on Tuesday, a unique event off the courts in Munich took place. All five organizers of the ATP World Tour tournaments held in Germany met to discuss possibilities to intensify their co-operation in the future. The idea arose in Monte Carlo two weeks ago. The organizers pointed out the importance of the German tennis market worldwide. With tournaments in Munich, Stuttgart, Halle, Hamburg as well as Düsseldorf, Germany is number two in terms of holding ATP World Tour events after the United States with having ten events.

“Here in Munich, we have a nice venue located right next to the English Garden with a familiar atmosphere,” said Michael Mronz. He and his colleagues Michael Stich (Hamburg), Dietloff von Arnim (Düsseldorf), Edwin Weindorfer (Stuttgart) and Horst Erpenbeck (Halle) agreed to find common strategies like establishing a kind of a player’s pool. Young German players like Alex Zverev as well as rising ATP stars of the next generation like Grigor Dimitrov or Alex Dolgopolov should be supported by granting them wild cards for all of the German events between April and July. “We all have to deal with the fact that the top stars on the ATP Tour are expensive getting them to play your tournament. We also need to sell our events to the fans as a mixture of tennis and entertainment,” former Wimbledon Champion Michael Stich said. There is also the idea of establishing a superior series with an umbrella partner in co-operation with the ATP, maybe according to the US Open Series. As a goal, it seems to be sure that all organizers have in common to improve the significance of the tennis sport in Germany and this meeting today could have been a first step into the right direction.

Florian Heer travels the tennis tour with a focus on ATP Challenger events and the ITF Future Circuit!  Follow his twitter account @Florian _Heer.

Singles – First Round
D Istomin (UZB) d [5] P Kohlschreiber (GER) 75 26 64
[Q] J Struff (GER) d [6] F Lopez (ESP) 63 64
[7] A Seppi (ITA) d *[LL] M Berrer (GER) 63 75
[Q] T Bellucci (BRA) d [8] I Dodig (CRO) 76(0) 64
J Melzer (AUT) d [WC] A Zverev (GER) 61 62
S Stakhovsky (UKR) d [WC] P Gojowczyk (GER) 36 64 61
[Q] M Klizan (SVK) d D Sela (ISR) 61 62
[Q] A Ramos (ESP) d L Hewitt (AUS) 67(6) 61 60

Doubles – First Round
[1] E Butorac (USA) / R Klaasen (RSA) d J Brunstrom (SWE) / H Kontinen (FIN) 64 67(2) 11-9
L Dlouhy (CZE) / M Pavic (CRO) d F Delbonis (ARG) / A Falla (COL) 63 64
D Brown (GER) / J Knowle (AUT) d O Marach (AUT) / J Melzer (AUT) 67(3) 64 10-3

*[LL] M Berrer (GER) replaced J Vesely (CZE) – left achilles


CENTRE COURT start 11:00 am
D Istomin (UZB) vs M Matosevic (AUS)
Not Before 12:55 pm
S Stakhovsky (UKR) vs [Q] J Struff (GER)
[Q] M Klizan (SVK) vs [3] M Youzhny (RUS)
Not Before 5:00 pm
**[LL] R Berankis (LTU) vs J Melzer (AUT)

SZ start 11:00 am
R Junaid (AUS) / J Nieminen (FIN) vs [WC] M Bachinger (GER) / K Krawietz (GER)
[PR] C Fleming (GBR) / R Hutchins (GBR) vs [2] J Cabal (COL) / R Farah (COL)
After Suitable Rest – L Hewitt (AUS) / M Matosevic (AUS) vs [4] T Bednarek (POL) / M Draganja (CRO)
After Suitable Rest – [3] J Murray (GBR) / J Peers (AUS) vs [WC] A Satschko (GER) / J Struff (GER)

**[LL] R Berankis (LTU) replaced [4] G Monfils (FRA) – ankle