From a German point of view, the MercedesCup (€ 729,340 total financial commitment) started off with a pleasant surprise: Tim Puetz (30/ATP 305), who is only in the quali event because of a wildcard, ousted favorite Lukas Lacko (30/ATP 99) from Slovakia in an enthralling three-set fight.
Puetz lost the first set in the tie-break but was able to turn the tide in the second, thanks to a late break, taking the second set 7-5. After that it was all Puetz who gave up only one more game to win the match 6-7(3), 7-5, 6-1.
The rest of the Germans fared less lucky in the first qualification round of the MercedesCup: Matthias Bachinger (31/ATP 154) was handed a shocking loss by Egor Gerasimov (25/ATP246) from Belarus in two straight sets 6-7(5), 4-6. Philipp Petzschner (34), who isn’t even ranked anymore in the ATP singles rankings was without a chance against Viktor Galovic (27/ATP 181) from Croatia, losing 1-6, 4-6. The match between Jan Choinski (21/ATP 268) and American Denis Kudla (25/ATP 113) had to be interrupted at 6-7(4), 0-3 due to imminent danger of a thunderstorm. After a one-hour break the match could be finished with Kudla taking the second set and the match 6-3.
Also advancing to the second and final round of qualification were Christian Harrison (USA, two-set win against Belgian Ruben Bemelmans), Italian Matteo Viola (two-set win against Slovakian Andrej Martin), Indian Prajnesh Gunneswaran (two-set win against American Evan King) and Russian Mikhail Youzhny (also two-set win against Frenchman David Guez).