BMW Open Qualifying Gets Underway In Munich

Top seed at the BMW Open qualifying: Lorenzo Sonego

MUNICH, April 27, 2019

Saturday’s qualifying action kicked off the 2019 edition of the BMW Open by FWU at the venue of the MTTC Iphitos. Top seed Lorenzo Sonego of Italy battled his way into the second round with a 7-6(5), 6-7(5), 6-3 win over Yannick Hanfmann from Germany.

The World No. 66 capitalized on all of his three break point chances to prevail after two hours and 27 minutes. Sonego finished runner-up to Hanfmann at the 2017 ATP Challenger in Ismaning, held in the Greater Munich area. Next up for the 23-year-old will be Henri Laaksonen from Switzerland, who rallied past #NextGenATP Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 in two hours and four minutes.

In another tough fight, Lukas Rosol defeated No. 4 seeded Peter Gojowczyk 6-4, 2-6, 6-4. The 33-year-old veteran from the Czech Republic won one point less than his opponent but advanced after one hour and 49 minutes to meet Yannick Maden next. Maden is the only German player, who made it into the second round of the qualifying, as Matthias Bachinger lost to Russian young gun Andrey Rublev 7-6(1), 6-2 and Cedrik-Marcel Stebe fell to Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan 6-3, 7-6(5). Rublev will next take on Thiago Monteiro of Brazil, who edged out Albert Ramos-Vinolas, winning 6-3, 2-6, 6-2.

Hard work for Gunneswaran

Istomin will play Prajnesh Gunneswaran from India, who fought past Austrian wild card entry Alexander Erler 3-6, 7-6(5), 7-5 after two hours and 27 minutes in the final match of the day.

“It was all about, who fights harder in the end. I wasn’t playing great, made a lot of mistakes. I was up a break in all three sets but let it go,” Gunneswaran told Tennis TourTalk afterwards. “Credit to him. Every time he had a chance, he went for the ball. It was pretty close and I was lucky to get away with the win.”

Gunneswaran qualified for his first Grand Slam main draw at the Australian Open earlier this season. Asked what we still can expect from him this week, he said: “Let’s see, hopefully I can go deep.”

The final eight players are vying for four spots in the main draw of the ATP 250 event, which will start on Monday.

Munich Moments

• Of course, it’s all about Alexander Zverev here. The two-time defending champion and top seed of the tournament met the media for a first time on Friday morning, teaming up with German fashion model and television host Lena Gercke against Sascha’s brother Mischa and tournament director Patrik Kühnen for a celebrity doubles match on Centre Court. The World No. 3 has come to Munich, losing four out of his last seven matches on the ATP Tour.

Zverev’s goal in Bavaria’s picturesque capital city is to boost positive energy on home soil, hoping for the turning point of a so far disappointing season for him.
Two years ago, Zverev started in Munich a fabulous run, which ended being ranked inside the top 10. Last year, the 22-year-old won his second BMW Open crown and captured the title at the ATP Masters 1000 in Madrid and made it into the final in Rome in the following. Zverev will open his Munich campaign on Wednesday or Thursday against the winner of the match between German wild card entry Maximilian Marterer and Juan Ignacio Londero of Argentina. Quite unusually for Zverev, he had his first proper practice session on one of the outside courts, non-accessible for spectators.

• The probably second most relevant topic in Munich is the weather. The tournament, which claims itself as the “toughest clay-court tournament in the world” had to deal with multifarious outdoor conditions in the past: heat, wind, rain and even snow – all of this often within the same week. According to the forecast, organizers, spectators and players may again await changeable weather.

Photo Gallery (by Florian Heer)