Haas Sets Tomic Clash On Comeback
Stuttgart, Germany
by ATP Staff | 09.06.2015
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© ATP/Peter Staples

Playing his first match in 12 months, Tommy Haas made a winning return to the ATP World Tour on Tuesday as he beat Mikhail Kukushkin 6-4, 7-5 in the first round of the MercedesCup in Stuttgart.

Read Haas' Reaction

The 37-year-old Haas has been sidelined since 2014 Roland Garros with a shoulder injury and is playing at this ATP World Tour 250 grass-court tournament at World No. 1044 in the Emirates ATP Rankings.

The former World No. 2 made his Stuttgart debut 17 years ago, when it was a clay-court tournament, and finished runner-up a year later in 1999 to Magnus Norman.

Watch Haas' Hot Shot

For a place in the quarter-finals, Haas will face fifth seed Bernard Tomic, who opened his 2015 grass-court campaign with a 6-3, 7-6(5) victory over Jan-Lennard Struff. The 22-year-old Australian, who reached the Wimbledon quarter-finals in 2011 (l. to Djokovic), converted three of his five break points for victory in 71 minutes.

“It’s very exciting for me to be back here,” said Tomic, who was born in Stuttgart before his family immigrated to Australia. “[My first match on grass] was pretty good. 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.”

Watch Tomic Quickfire Questions

Eighth seed Viktor Troicki lost just five points on serve as he defeated 18-year-old Croatian Borna Coric 6-2, 6-0 in 45 minutes. Coric was playing his first tour-level match on grass and Troicki took full advantage, breaking serve five times from eight opportunities.

Marcos Baghdatis set a second-round clash with top seed Rafael Nadal after beating Lukas Rosol 6-3, 6-4. The Cypriot will look to overcome a 1-7 FedEx ATP Head2Head mark against Nadal, with his lone win coming in Cincinnati five years ago.

Fourth seed Gael Monfils will face Andreas Haider-Maurer in his opening second-round match after the Austrian beat German wild card Maximilian Marterer 7-6(5), 6-3 in 71 minutes.

Haider-Maurer’s countryman, Dominic Thiem, did not join him in the second round. Qualifier Mischa Zverev upset the seventh seed 7-6(4), 6-2 in 85 minutes to earn his second tour-level win of the season. Former Top 50 player, Zverev, is looking to work his way back up the Emirates ATP Rankings after dropping to No. 502.

Zverev’s younger brother, Alexander Zverev, also reached the second round. The 18 year old fought from a set down to beat Mate Pavic 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 in one hour and 42 minutes, claiming his third tour-level win of the season.

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