ATP Stuttgart: Zverev sets Federer clash. First ATP win for Rudolf Molleker


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ATP Stuttgart: Zverev sets Federer clash. First ATP win for Rudolf Molleker

The 34-year-old Florian Mayer is set to retire at the US Open and he is playing in front of the Stuttgart crowd for the very last time. "Funky Flo" showed his amazing talent for the grass court tennis once again, beating the fellow German Yannick Maden 6-4 6-1 in 65 minutes for his first win of the season after nine straight losses (12 in total), celebrating his first win since the US Open. Mayer was rock solid in his games, fending off all four break points he faced and dominating on the return as well, creating eight break points and converting four to seal the deal in style and without wasting too much energy.

Florian saved two break points in the second game and everything was much easier for him from that point, losing just two points on serve by the end of the set and converting his fourth break point in game seven after a beautiful volley winner to move in front.

The more experienced player finished the set with four winners in game 10 and he made a great move towards the win with a break at the start of the second set. Mayer earned another break in game three with a return winner and he clinched the win with another return winner in game seven for the place in the last 16.

The 17-year-old Rudolf Molleker has won his first Challenger title in Heilbronn in May and after an early exit at Roland Garros in junior singles he is back on the winning way after ousting Jan-Lennard Struff 6-4 6-7 6-3 in an hour and 54 minutes for his first ATP win. Molleker is only the third player born in 2000 with an ATP win after Felix Auger-Aliassime and Nicola Kuhn and he delivered it after a great serving display, firing 26 aces and facing only three break points.

Struff was there to fight until the very end, converting one of those chances on the return but he fell short in the end, getting broken three times from six opportunities he gave to Rudolf and winning six points less than his young compatriot.

Jan-Lennard saved a break point in game five with a service winner but Rudolf grabbed a break in game nine and the opening set was on his tally after three service winners in game 10. Struff created a 3-1 gap in set number two but his advantage was not to stay for too long, losing serve in the following game when his forehand landed long.

Both players held with ease in the last six games to set up a tie break and it was decided with a mini-break in the third point for Struff after a solid forehand attack. A service winner in the 12th point gave the set to Struff and the match went into a decider and possibly to another tie break in the way they served.

Molleker saved a break point at the start of the final set and he earned the crucial break in game four that pushed him 3-1 ahead, confirming his break with a hold after a deuce a few minutes later. Serving for the match in game nine, a teenager hit three service winners for three match points, and he fired a backhand cross court winner to emerge as a winner and notch his first success on the Tour.

First round results:

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