German stars ruling the home court at Halle

German stars ruling the home court at Halle
Photo: DPA
Germany's tennis players are keeping the home flag flying at Halle's ATP tournament by reaching the quarter-finals and dumping out seeds Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Tomas Berdych.

Former world number two Tommy Haas became the fourth German of the day to reach the last eight with a 6-3, 7-6 (7/3) win over fourth-seed Tsonga in just 79 minutes on Wednesday evening.

“The level was pretty high, but it is frustrating to play well and still lose,” said Tsonga. “But all credit to Tommy, he played very well and I think he will go through the draw now.”

Haas will play an all-German quarter-final against Mischa Zverev on Friday and was pleased to have so many compatriots through to the last eight.

“It shows how the German players like the faster surface,” he said. “We have four through, at least two more are expected to win through tomorrow, so it’s a good advert for the sport here.”

Earlier Germany’s top player Philipp Kohlschreiber dumped out sixth-seeded Russian Tursunov with a 6-4, 7-6 (8/6) win to keep the Halle crowd happy. And Benjamin Becker also won his second round tie with a 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 victory over eighth-seed compatriot Rainer Schüttler.

“It’s great that so many of us are doing well here,” said Kohlschreiber. “It’s good also for the tournament and the spectators, with Roger Federer not here it means the field is a lot more open.”

The biggest upset of the day went to Zverev, the fifth-highest ranked German on the ATP tour, who held his nerve having lost the first set to win the second round clash against Berdych 3-6, 6-2, 7-6 (10/8).

“I had to change my game completely,” admitted the 21-year-old Zverev. “I had planned to play serve-and-volley, but after an hour I had not hit a single ball that way, so I made a lot of changes and it worked. He made a lot of unforced errors which helped me.”

Zverev brushed off losing the first set to take control of the second by breaking Berdych twice and then won the third set tie-breaker after more than two-and-a-half hours of often nerve-wracking tennis.

The German, ranked 45th in the world, finally took the third set and the tie with his fourth match-point.

Earlier in the day, Roger Federer’s replacement Slovakia’s Lukas Lacko took advantage of the French Open champion’s no-show here to reach the second round. World number two Federer announced his withdrawal on Tuesday citing exhaustion after winning Roland Garros on Sunday, and his replacement in the draw took his chance with both hands.

Lucky loser Lacko beat Israel’s Harel Levy 7-6 (8/6), 6-2 to reach the second round where he will face Germany’s Andreas Beck on Thursday.

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