The ATP 500 Hamburg European Open will take next week at the Rothenbaum Tennis Center, providing one of the last opportunities for clay courters to earn big points in 2019. World no. 4 Dominic Thiem and Fabio Fognini should be the leading title contenders, together with world no.
5 Alexander Zverev who decided to take a wild card after another disappointing result at Wimbledon. As was expected, the organizers gave a wild card to the young German gun Rudolf Molleker and they saved the second for Mischa Zverev, who is also set to play the mixed doubles match together with Iva Majoli, Barbara Schett and his brother Alexander.
The 31-year-old German has been struggling to find the form, dropping out from the top-200 for the first time since November 2015 and never reaching the level that carried him towards the title in Eastbourne last June. Ranked in the top-25 just two years ago, Mischa had played the career-best tennis that saw him beating Andy Murray at the Australian Open, reaching the final in Geneva and the fourth round at the US Open before losing the ground in the first half of 2018.
The promising signs had come in Eastbourne where Mischa claimed the first ATP title but that was the last we have seen from him, suffering one early loss after another and falling through the rankings by the speed of light.
The German has lost 26 out of the last 32 matches, deciding to stay on the Tour instead of moving down towards the Challengers where he could have gained some points and momentum. After a terrible 1-11 start in 2019, Zverev is in the quarter-final in Newport following back-to-back wins for the first time since Atlanta a year ago, hoping for a good run on grass before returning home to Hamburg where he needs a good draw to grab some wins.