Hamburg Open Day 1: Molleker Moves On, Other Germans Struggle

HAMBURG–

It was a cloudy and rainy first day here at the 2019 Hamburg Open. However, play was not interrupted and plenty of action was played on both Centre Court and the outside courts at the Am Rothenbaum. Day 1 featured both the oldest player in the draw, 35-year-old Philipp Kohlschreiber, and the youngest player, 18-year-old Rudolf Molleker.

Hamburg Open Day 1

Overall, it was not a good day for the German players, as most of them could not seem to find any rhythm on court and struggled against their first-round opponents. Philipp Kohlschreiber, who entered the tournament on a four-match losing streak, was defeated comfortably by Hungary’s Marton Fucsovics, 6-3 6-0.

“Tennis has not been much fun for me in recent weeks, but I’m not giving up,” said
Kohlschreiber. “Winning matches is the only thing that can help.”

Also, World No. 62 Martin Klizan eased past wild card Daniel Altmaier in straight sets 6-2 6-2 to progress to the second round. The young German wild card, Rudolf Molleker finally gave the Germans something to cheer about as he defeated the seasoned Argentine veteran Leonardo Mayer in two close sets, 7-6 6-4.

Molleker’s throughts on the win

When asked about whether he was nervous before the match and his general thoughts, Mollekar said, “Yeah, obviously I was a bit nervous. Coming back to Hamburg is always a pleasure for me. I knew I beat him [Mayer] in 2017 on my first qualifying, so it’s a special day…beating him, it’s something special.”

Arguably the most entertaining match of the day was the all-French affair between the fifth seed, Benoit Paire, and the seasoned journeyman, Jeremy Chardy. Paire stole the first set 7-6 off Chardy as he had a set point earlier on, but could not convert. The second set was a tussle of momentum, as both players could not consolidate their break of serves, but eventually, Chardy edged through the set 7-5. The third set both players played well, but it was Chardy that got the crucial break early in the third set to win the set 6-3.

There was only one match played on the outside court. Andrey Rublev played the young talented Chilean, Christian Garin, and it was a close one. Eventually young Russian pulled through in straight sets 6-4 7-6 for a place in the second round.

Tuesday at the Hamburg Open brings some marquee names such as the hometown favourite Alexander “Sascha” Zverev, Dominic Thiem, and Fabio Fognini.

Full Day 1 results:

Martin Klizan d. Daniel Altmaier 6-3 6-2

Marton Fucsovics d. Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-3 6-0

Jeremy Chardy d. Benoit Paire 6-7 7-5 6-3

Andrey Rublev d. Cristian Garin 6-4 7-6

Main Photo Credit: Alexander Scheuber/Hamburg European Open