STUTTGART, Germany (AP) — Fifth-seeded Bernard Tomic advanced to the second round of the Mercedes Cup by beating Jan-Lennard Struff of Germany 6-3, 7-6 (5) Tuesday at the grass-court Wimbledon warm-up tournament.
Tomic, Australia’s highest-ranked player, has made good starts in most of his tournaments this year but passed the quarterfinals only once.
Eighth-seeded Viktor Troicki also advanced, beating Croatian teenager Borna Coric 6-2, 6-0. Coric won only one point on Troicki’s serve in the second set.
German qualifier Mischa Zverev defeated seventh-seeded Dominic Thiem of Austria 7-6 (4), 6-2, and other winners included Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus, Andreas Haider-Maurer of Austria and Sam Groth of Australia.
Tomic, who reached the Wimbledon quarterfinals in 2011, said he was happy to be playing in Stuttgart, where he was born before the family immigrated to Australia.
“I served and returned well in the first set. I think I lost a little bit of concentration in the second. It’s all about finding your movement on the grass in the first match and I felt like it was pretty solid,” Tomic said.
Tomic will next play Tommy Haas, the 37-year-old veteran who is making his comeback after a shoulder injury. Haas beat Mikhail Kukushkin 6-4, 7-5 in his first match in a year.
“I am still not where I want to be, I still can’t serve the way I want,” Haas said. “But I have no pain and that’s important.”
Baghdatis, who compensated for 11 double-faults with 10 aces in a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Lukas Rosol, will next play top-seeded Rafael Nadal, who had a bye into the second round.
Troicki will next meet wild card Alexander Zverev, Mischa Zverev’s younger brother, who rallied to beat qualifier Mate Pavic 3-6, 6-2, 6-3.
Andreas Seppi cruised past Benjamin Becker 6-1, 6-2 and will meet Mischa Zverev in the second round.
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