Khachanov Holds Off Struff To Reach Halle Quartefinals

Karen Khachanov (photo: NOVENTI OPEN©KET)

HALLE, June 19, 2019

Second-round play got underway at the Noventi Open on Wednesday, headlined by the first tour-level meeting between World No. 9 Karen Khachanov of Russia and World No. 35 and local favourite Jan-Lennard Struff. Both Khachanov and Struff have career-high rankings this week after advancing to the second week of Roland Garros.

The No. 3 seed from Moscow withstood 11 aces, breaking the German’s serve two times to seal a 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 victory in one hour and 43 minutes.

“On grass, both of us are playing pretty aggressive, serving hard. So it was really difficult to find the rhythm on the opponent’s serve. I had to try to wait for the chances,” Khachanov said and that he “feels really comfortable at Halle.” The 23-year-old will next take on an Italian, either last Sunday’s MercedesCup champion Matteo Berrettini or Andreas Seppi.

Later in the afternoon, reigning Noventi Open champion Borna Coric was also in action against Portuguese qualifier Joao Sousa, winning 7-6(4), 5-7, 7-6(4). The 22-year-old from Croatia saved three of the four break points he faced, capitalizing on two of his own nine chances to prevail after two hours and 55 minutes.

“I was losing 4/2 in the tie-break. I was feeling like I’m actually losing the match. So now to turn it around, I must be very, very happy,” said Coric, who will next play Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert.

Earlier in the day, David Goffin rallied past Radu Albot of Moldova, winning 4-6, 6-4, 6-3. The 28-year-old Belgian won 86 per cent of his first service points to advance in one hour and 53 minutes.

“In the end my service helped me a lot. I’m happy to be in the quarterfinal,” said Goffin, who will either meet Alexander Zverev of Germany of US-American Steve Johnson next. Zverev hurt his knee in his opening match on Monday but enjoyed one more day of recovery and will be back in action on Thursday.

Around Gerry Weber Stadium

On Tuesday evening, tournament director Ralf Weber and his wife Irina welcomed the tennis cracks to the traditional Players’ Party. Karen Khachanov, Jan-Lennard Struff, Richard Gasquet and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga were amongst the guests at the Club500 of the GERRY WEBER EVENT CENTER.

“The Club500 is the ideal location for the Players’ Party during the tournament,” Weber stated in a press release. “I am pleased that many players attended the event to enjoy some relaxed atmosphere off the courts.”