World number 3 and defending Munich champion Alexander Zverev is through to the quarter-final after a hard-fought 6-7 6-4 6-2 triumph over the fellow German Yannick Hanfmann, ranked 118th! This was the first match on the Tour between a two-time Masters 1000 champion and a former star of Collegiate tennis and Hanfmann played on a very high level in the opening two sets, forcing Zverev to give his best in order to stay in contention and force the deciding set.
Alexander did that and he raced into a 5-0 lead in set number three before he closed it with another break in the eight game to advance into the quarter-final and notch his 18th victory of the season after 2 hours and 9 minutes.
Both players landed more than 70% of the first serve in but it has to be said that Alexander created much more opportunities on the return and he forced Hanfmann to play against 13 break points, losing his serve five times but just twice in the opening two sets.
On the other hand, he broke Zverev on both opportunities he created and that was enough to keep him in contention until 7-6 4-4 before Sascha turned the screw to dominate in the rest of the match. The opening set lasted for more than an hour and it was decided in one of the best tie breaks we saw so far in 2018, with Hanfmann prevailing 14-12 to set the ground for a possible big upset.
Yannick saved four break points in order to reach the tie break first and he converted his seventh set point after forcing an error from the defending champion. With a lot of work to be done, Alexander broke in the fourth game of set number two to open a 3-1 lead but Hanfmann got it back immediately after a forehand winner in game five to stay on the winning trail.
Nonetheless, Zverev found the range on return once again in game 10, breaking his rival for the second time to take the set 6-4 and enter the decider as the favorite. He proved that on the court, rattling off 20 out of 23 points to race into a 5-0 lead and serve for the win in game seven.
He double faulted to drop his serve and keep Hanfmannin the match for a little more before he broke him in game eight to seal the deal and emerge as a winner. Zverev will now face another countryman Jan-Lennard Struff for the second time in three weeks, struggling to beat him at Monte Carlo Masters en route to the semi-final.
Competing for the first time since Miami, Hyeon Chung has opened his clay campaign with a 6-1 6-1 win over Matthias Bachinger in 58 minutes for his 19th victory of the season so far. Hyeon lost just three points behind his first serve and he fends off all five break points in the last game of the match when he already had an uncatchable lead.
Bachinger was nowhere near those numbers behind his initial shot and he had to give his serve away five times from seven break opportunities that Chung created. The Korean earned a break in the very first game of the match when he forced a volley error from Matthias and his lead soon grew to 4-1 after a forehand winner in game five that delivered the second break for him.
A backhand winner in sealed the set for Chung in game seven and he was eager to produce the same level of tennis in set number two as well. He broke the German in game two with a return winner and another break at 4-1 gave him the opportunity to serve for the triumph.
Out of sudden, Matthis found some flame on the return and he created five break chances in that seventh game, only to be denied by well-constructed points from Chung who converted his second match point with a wonderful forehand down the line winner for a perfect comeback after he was sidelined from the court for over a month. Second round results: