Mischa Zverev was the third German on Monday to advance to the second round of the MercedesCup at Stuttgart’s Weissenhof. The 30-year old no. 54 of the world beat Russian qualifier Mikhail Youzhny 7-6(5), 6-3. Zeverev showed strong nerves in front of a big Centre Court crowd, beating the Russian after 1:30 hours.
In the second round, however, Zverev will face the strongest possible opponent of the MercedesCup: Roger Federer, the no. 1 of the tournament. Compared to last year, when the “maestro” had to bow out of the tournament early against an out of his mind playing Tommy Haas, the Swiss wants to desperately lay his hand on the MercedesCup’s winner trophy – for the first time ever. Therefore, Federer has been practicing on location since Sunday intensively. His feeling for this year’s edition of the tournament is a good one: “I have been practicing well and the courts are in great shape. I’m really excited for this week.”
But Zverev is also optimistic, even though he is not yet a hundred percent satisfied with changing his game from clay to grass: “I have played the last few weeks more from the baseline. Obviously, it’s not such a good idea to always run to the net at Roland Garros. It would be nice if I could make an upset like Tommy did last year, but I try not to think too much about it. Right now I want to analyze my own game and then I’ll start looking at Roger.”
The match between Guido Pella (ARG) and John Millman (AUS) turned out to be a pretty one-sided affair, with Pella winning 6-2, 6-2.