Zverev, Baghdatis Move On In Halle

German looking for deep run in his home country

NextGen player Alexander Zverev moved into the second round of the Gerry Weber Open on Tuesday with a 6-4, 6-4 win over seventh seed Viktor Troicki of Serbia.

The 19-year-old German erased five of six break points and was three-for-three in breaking Troicki. “Viktor is a very good grass-court player,” Zverev said. “So I feel pretty good. I’m playing well. I didn’t do a lot of mistakes and served quite well.”

Zverev, No. 38 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, will face countryman Benjamin Becker in the second round in Halle. Zverev, the 2015 ATP Star Of Tomorrow presented by Emirates, won their prior FedEx ATP Head2Head meeting last year on clay in Munich.

In a rematch of the 2007 Halle final, Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis exacted revenge and upset fourth seed Tomas Berdych 7-6(3), 7-6(4). Baghdatis hit 10 aces and zero double faults in his first victory against the Czech since 2010. The 30 year old especially took advantage of Berdych's second serve, winning 21 of Berdych's 31 second-serve points. 

“To beat Tomas anywhere, it's a great achievement and I'm happy that I did it today here,” said Baghdatis. “I think I put a lot of pressure on his serve with my returns... I mixed it up, tried to play some slice, tried to keep the ball low, not to let him be aggressive.”

He next will face German wild card Dustin Brown, a 6-3, 7-5 winner over Spaniard Albert Ramos-Vinolas, who was making his first appearance since a career-best quarter-final appearance at Roland Garros. Baghdatis leads Brown 2-0 in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series, including a victory two years ago at Wimbledon.

“I think I can play very well on grass. It suits my game, my style of play,” said Baghdatis, a former Wimbledon semi-finalist.

Florian Mayer completed a successful Tuesday for the home country contingent, closing out a 7-5, 7-6(3) victory over American Brian Baker to set a second-round meeting with No. 2 seed Kei Nishikori. 

NextGen player Taylor Fritz fell on Tuesday 6-7(4), 6-2, 6-3 to Japanese qualifier Yuichi Sugita. Their match resumed in the first-set tie-break on Tuesday after rain halted play on Monday.

Malek Jaziri awaits the winner between top seed Roger Federer and German wild card Jan-Lennard Struff, after opening with a 7-5, 6-4 victory over Ricardas Berankis. Meanwhile, Ivo Karlovic struck 26 aces past Andrey Kuznetsov, defeating the Russian 7-6(6), 6-3. He will meet either eighth-seeded German Philipp Kohlschreiber or Spaniard Marcel Granollers in the second round.

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