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#NextGenATP Khachanov Starts Strong In Hamburg

Third seed and #NextGenATP Karen Khachanov, the leading Russian at No. 32 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, recorded his 20th match win of the year at the German Tennis Championships 2017 on Tuesday. In his Hamburg debut, Khachanov prevailed 6-4, 6-3 against German qualifier Rudolf Molleker in 70 minutes. He will next play Aljaz Bedene or lucky loser Jose Hernandez-Fernandez.

Lucky loser Leonardo Mayer of Argentina seized his moment, coming back from a set down to defeat top seed and clay-court stalwart Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-7(3), 6-3, 7-6(4). Mayer, No. 138 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, is playing in only his fifth ATP World Tour event of the season but didn't back down from the Spaniard, who reached the quarter-finals of the SkiStar Swedish Open last week and the fourth round at Roland Garros earlier this year.

NextGenATP star Karen Khachanov moves on to the second round
Mayer saved seven of nine break points and claimed the three-hour and four-minute battle when Ramos-Vinolas lifted a backhand long to end a 28-shot rally. Mayer will next meet German Jan-Lennard Struff.

Russia’s Andrey Kuznetsov capitalised on Pablo Cuevas’ lack of match practice over the past six weeks to knock out last year’s runner-up. Kuznetsov, who advanced to the SkiStar Swedish Open semi-finals (l. to Dolgopolov), fought all the way to beat the second-seeded Uruguayan 3-6, 7-5, 6-4 in two hours and four minutes for a place in the second round against Florian Mayer of Germany. Cuevas, who struck 10 aces, has recently overcome a right knee injury.

“I knew it wasn’t going to be an easy match against Pablo, a very good player on clay courts,” said Kuznetsov. “I’m very happy that I didn’t give up, because after the first set I was a little unlucky. I continued to fight and I’m happy about the way I played. I knew I had to be aggressive as his serve is very good. I waited for my chances, especially in the third set until 5-4, when he hit three or four second serves.”

Wild card Tommy Haas, appearing at his hometown tournament for the first time since 2013 and 20 years since he made his debut, fell to Argentinean Nicolas Kicker 7-5, 6-2 in 86 minutes. Haas, 39, lost in the 2012 final to Juan Monaco, who retired in May. Kicker now faces fifth seed Benoit Paire.

“Obviously it's a sad moment. It was my last match ever in Hamburg here. I wish I could have played a bit better, played up to my potential. But Nicolas Kicker didn't give me that chance,” Haas said.

German Philipp Kohlschreiber, playing in Hamburg for the 13th time, ended the five-match win streak of #NextGenATP Russian Andrey Rublev, who won his first ATP World Tour title on Sunday at the Plava Laguna Croatia Open Umag. Kohlschreiber saved six of seven break points to advance 6-3, 6-1 and will next play fourth seed Gilles Simon.

“I was very happy and pleased with my game, very solid, almost no mistakes,” Kohlschreiber said.

Source: http://www.atpworldtour.com/en/news/haas-cuevas-khachanov-hamburg-2017-tuesday

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