Dustin Brown’s success run at Stuttgart’s MercedesCup couldn’t be halted on Tuesday.
After winning both his matches in qualification he was also victorious in the first round of the main draw. On Tuesday, he beat John Millman from Australia 6-4, 7-6(3) to set up a duel with the tournament’s number 1 and fellow country man Alexander Zverev on Thursday. After the match he said: “I have played nearly without any mistakes from the beginning. I served good, made some good returns. Obviously, it helped that I got an early break.” About his next opponent he said: “I will try to play the same game as today. We don’t have to talk about Alex, everybody knows what a great player he is.”
Struff through to round 2, too
The second day of the main draw had already started very positive from a German point of view: In the first match of the day Jan-Lennard Struff beat Canada’s Next Gen star Denis Shapovalov for the third time this year. The final result was 7-5, 6-4. Struff’s good service and efficiency were the deciding factors. He served 14 aces and was able to convert five of his seven breach balls, while Shapovalov failed to deliver on all of his five chances to break his opponent’s serve. Struff will meet Serbia’s Miomir Kecmanovic in the second round. “I know him quite well as he was with my team last December, preparing for the new season. It will be important that I serve well and be ready for the second ball.”
Seeded players advance
On “Super Tuesday” there were numerous other top stars besides the Germans on the courts. Milos Raonic (CAN/6) overcome a slow start to beat Australian qualifier Alexei Popyrin 6-7(6), 6-4, 7-6(4) and will meet Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the second round. Canada’s shooting star Felix Auger-Aliassime (7) hat no problems disposing of Ernests Gulbis from Latvia in straight sets 7-5, 6-3.
Fan favorite out
Without much ado fan favorite and last year’s semi-finalist Nick Kyrgios (AUS) made his exit from this year’s tournament. He lost 3-6, 4-6 to Italian Matteo Berrettini.
Lucas Pouille, the winner from 2017, saved his neck in the last second. In a re-match of the 2017 final he saved two match balls from Feliciano Lopez in the tie-break of the third match to finally take the set and match 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(7). Also in the second round: Denis Kudla (USA) who cruised to an eysy two-set win over Croatian qualifier Viktor Galovic.
In the last singles match of the day, Gael Monfils won a hard-fought 3-set victory over American Steve Johnson. Just like his countryman Pouille he had to save a match ball in the deciding tie-break before converting his fourth to seal the victory.