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Read & Watch: Zverev Fights Through In Halle

Down a break at 5-2 in the second set, Alexander Zverev could have cast his eyes to the seemingly inevitable third set against Robin Haase on Monday at the NOVENTI OPEN.

But the German kept his focus on what was in front of him, and didn’t even need to bother with a third set. The two-time Halle finalist (2016, 2017) beat Haase 6-4, 7-5 to make the second round at the ATP 500 event.

This is probably one of my favourite tournaments and I’m always motivated here. Last year, I played with an injury here and lost first round and this year I really want to do well. I hope this was a good start for a good tournament for me,” Zverev said.

Zverev dug himself out of trouble to serve for the match at 6-5 in the second set, but needed more heroics to stave off the Dutch veteran. The second-seeded Zverev saved two break points while serving at 6-5, including one during a 41-shot rally that Haase ended when he sprayed a backhand wide.

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Zverev fell to countryman Florian Mayer in the 2016 final and Roger Federer in 2017. Federer, a nine-time champion, is again the top seed at the grass-court event.

The 22-year-old Zverev will next face American Steve Johnson, who ended a three-match losing streak by beating Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-3, 6-3. Johnson hit 13 aces, won 85 per cent of his first-serve points (29/34) and never faced a break point.

He is someone who has an unbelievable serve, a very good grass-court game. He has won a [couple] tournaments on grass. He has a good forehand and a very good slice. He beat Philipp in straight sets, which also tells a lot,” Zverev said. “It won’t be an easy match but there are no bad players here. Therefore, there aren’t any easy matches here.”

Read & Watch: Zverev Fights Through In Halle

Down a break at 5-2 in the second set, Alexander Zverev could have cast his eyes to the seemingly inevitable third set against Robin Haase on Monday at the NOVENTI OPEN.

But the German kept his focus on what was in front of him, and didn’t even need to bother with a third set. The two-time Halle finalist (2016, 2017) beat Haase 6-4, 7-5 to make the second round at the ATP 500 event.

This is probably one of my favourite tournaments and I’m always motivated here. Last year, I played with an injury here and lost first round and this year I really want to do well. I hope this was a good start for a good tournament for me,” Zverev said.

Zverev dug himself out of trouble to serve for the match at 6-5 in the second set, but needed more heroics to stave off the Dutch veteran. The second-seeded Zverev saved two break points while serving at 6-5, including one during a 41-shot rally that Haase ended when he sprayed a backhand wide.

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Zverev fell to countryman Florian Mayer in the 2016 final and Roger Federer in 2017. Federer, a nine-time champion, is again the top seed at the grass-court event.

The 22-year-old Zverev will next face American Steve Johnson, who ended a three-match losing streak by beating Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-3, 6-3. Johnson hit 13 aces, won 85 per cent of his first-serve points (29/34) and never faced a break point.

He is someone who has an unbelievable serve, a very good grass-court game. He has won a [couple] tournaments on grass. He has a good forehand and a very good slice. He beat Philipp in straight sets, which also tells a lot,” Zverev said. “It won’t be an easy match but there are no bad players here. Therefore, there aren’t any easy matches here.”

Khachanov Rolls In Halle Return

Karen Khachanov won his first match as a Top 10 player on Monday at the NOVENTI OPEN in Halle. The 2017 semi-finalist dismissed Serbian lucky loser Miomir Kecmanovic 7-6(5), 6-4 to reach the second round at the ATP 500 event in Germany.

Khachanov, who broke into the Top 10 last Monday after making his first Grand Slam quarter-final at Roland Garros, lost his opener last week at the MercedesCup in Stuttgart to eventual champion Matteo Berrettini. The 6’6” right-hander is the first Russian to be ranked inside the Top 10 since Mikhail Youzhny during the week of 7 February 2011.

Khachanov, who improved to 15-14 on the year, will next face German Jan-Lennard Struff or Serbian Laslo Djere.

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Pierre-Hugues Herbert won an all-French battle against Gael Monfils 7-6(6), 6-4. The 28-year-old Herbert won won 53 per cent of his second-serve return points and will next meet German wild card Rudolf Molleker or Ukraine qualifier Sergiy Stakhovsky.

In other first-round action, Delray Beach Open by VITACOST.com champion Radu Albot prevailed past Aussie Matthew Ebden 5-7, 6-1, 6-4, and Portuguese qualifier Joao Sousa ousted Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz 7-6(3), 6-1.

Khachanov Rolls In Halle Return

Karen Khachanov won his first match as a Top 10 player on Monday at the NOVENTI OPEN in Halle. The 2017 semi-finalist dismissed Serbian lucky loser Miomir Kecmanovic 7-6(5), 6-4 to reach the second round at the ATP 500 event in Germany.

Khachanov, who broke into the Top 10 last Monday after making his first Grand Slam quarter-final at Roland Garros, lost his opener last week at the MercedesCup in Stuttgart to eventual champion Matteo Berrettini. The 6’6” right-hander is the first Russian to be ranked inside the Top 10 since Mikhail Youzhny during the week of 7 February 2011.

Khachanov, who improved to 15-14 on the year, will next face German Jan-Lennard Struff or Serbian Laslo Djere.

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Pierre-Hugues Herbert won an all-French battle against Gael Monfils 7-6(6), 6-4. The 28-year-old Herbert won won 53 per cent of his second-serve return points and will next meet German wild card Rudolf Molleker or Ukraine qualifier Sergiy Stakhovsky.

In other first-round action, Delray Beach Open by VITACOST.com champion Radu Albot prevailed past Aussie Matthew Ebden 5-7, 6-1, 6-4, and Portuguese qualifier Joao Sousa ousted Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz 7-6(3), 6-1.

Watch Magic Man Monfils Shock Even Himself With Halle Stunner

Would it be a Gael Monfils match without a highlight-reel shot?

Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert beat his countryman Monfils 7-6(6), 6-4 on Monday at the NOVENTI OPEN, but it was the latter who provided the moment of the match. Herbert sent the veteran running towards the baseline with a lob, but instead of turning around to hit a standard backhand passing shot, Monfils — still facing the back of the court — flicked a crosscourt winner on the forehand side of his racquet.

Monfils immediately held his arms out in celebration, revelling in the crowd’s cheers. His friend Herbert cracked a smile and clapped to acknowledge the shot. 

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Watch Magic Man Monfils Shock Even Himself With Halle Stunner

Would it be a Gael Monfils match without a highlight-reel shot?

Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert beat his countryman Monfils 7-6(6), 6-4 on Monday at the NOVENTI OPEN, but it was the latter who provided the moment of the match. Herbert sent the veteran running towards the baseline with a lob, but instead of turning around to hit a standard backhand passing shot, Monfils — still facing the back of the court — flicked a crosscourt winner on the forehand side of his racquet.

Monfils immediately held his arms out in celebration, revelling in the crowd’s cheers. His friend Herbert cracked a smile and clapped to acknowledge the shot. 

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