German stars rule as Berdych, Tsonga crash out of Halle
Germany's tennis players kept the home flag flying at Halle's ATP
tournament on Wednesday to reach the quarter-finals as seeds Jo-Wilfried
Tsonga and Tomas Berdych were both dumped out.
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 Schuettler.
"It's great that so many of us are doing well here," said
"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.
"I just want to really enjoy my lunch now and relax a little bit."
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.
HALLE, Germany, Thursday (AFP)