Former Champ Kohlschreiber Continues Auckland Success
Philipp Kohlschreiber has long enjoyed success in Auckland, winning the title in 2008 and reaching at least the quarter-finals eight times. So it should come as no surprise that the German veteran got off to a good start at the ASB Classic on Monday.
Kohlschreiber defeated American qualifier Bradley Klahn 6-4, 7-6(2), moving through his first match in Auckland for the 11th time in 12 tries. The World No. 34’s only opening-round loss at the event came in 2005, when he was 21 years old. In the second round, Kohlschreiber will face lucky loser Pablo Cuevas or French qualifier Ugo Humbert.
Joao Sousa recovered from a set down to beat #NextGenATP Canadian Denis Shapovalov 4-6, 6-4, 6-4. The 2017 runner-up (l. to Sock) notched his sixth win in 10 matches as the tournament after two hours and 20 minutes, saving eight of 12 break points against the seventh seed.
While one American lost, 2018 Next Gen ATP Finals qualifier Taylor Fritz moved on. Fritz came back from a set down to beat Marius Copil 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 in one hour and 38 minutes. The 21-year-old won all 18 of his first-serve points to advance, earning a match-up against top seed John Isner. The World No. 9 has won both of his FedEx ATP Head2Head meetings against Fritz without dropping a set.
In other action, German Jan-Lennard Struff advanced, taking a 7-6(5), 2-0 lead against Laslo Djere before the Serbian retired. Struff will play 2017 Next Gen ATP Finals champion Hyeon Chung or wild card Ruben Statham for a spot in the quarter-finals. Tennys Sandgren earned a match against third seed Marco Cecchinato with a 6-3, 6-4 win against qualifier Maximilian Marterer, and Matteo Berrettini beat qualifier Mackenzie McDonald by the same scoreline.
Did You Know?
Kohlschreiber is now just two victories away from the 450-wins milestone. According to the FedEx ATP Performance Zone, the 34-year-old has more wins than any other active German, and is third from his nation in the Open Era, trailing just Boris Becker (713-214) and Tommy Haas (569-338).