Holger Rune added another strong performance to his increasingly impressive 2022 season at the BMW Open by American Express in Munich on Monday, taking out Jiri Lehecka in a clash between two of the brightest prospects on the ATP Tour.
Both #NextGenATP stars, Rune and Lehecka entered the week at seventh and fifth in the ATP Race To Milan, respectively.
Wild card Rune had won his opening match in four of his past five tour-level events coming into the ATP 250 event in Germany, and the 18-year-old made it five from six after recovering 5-2 in the first set on his way to a straight-sets victory against the World No. 88.
Rune has already notched notable wins over Aslan Karatsev in Monte Carlo and Cristian Garin in Belgrade this clay-court season, but the Dane is still yet to advance past the second round of a tour-level event in 2022.
His next opponent in Bavaria will be Emil Ruusuvuori. The Finn enjoyed a pair of quickfire wins in Barcelona last week, dropping just five games against Feliciano Lopez and Alexander Bublik before falling to Casper Ruud at the ATP 500 event. Ruusuvuori was made to fight by qualifier Yoshihito Nishioka in Munich but still got the job done in straight sets, securing a 7-6(5), 7-5 victory to earn a maiden tournament win in his second appearance.
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Miomir Kecmanovic has been one of the most consistent performers on the ATP Tour so far in 2022 and the World No. 38 continued his strong form as he brushed past wild card Max Hans Rehberg with a 6-2, 6-3 win earlier on Monday .
The Serb has reached the quarter-finals in his past five tournaments, including runs to the last eight at the ATP Masters 1000 events in Miami and Indian Wells, and he was clinical in brushing past Rehberg at the Iphitos Tennis Club as he broke twice in each set against a player making his tour-level debut in his hometown.
Kecmanovic sits at a career-high No. 38 in the ATP Rankings and pushed World No. 1 Novak Djokovic to three sets at the Serbia Open last week. The 22-year-old will be keen to turn his good form into a deep run on tournament debut in Munich as he chases a first tour-level semi-final of 2022.
The seventh seed faces another home favorite Daniel Altmaier in the second round, after the World No. 67 produced a strong final set performance to prevail 7-6(5), 3-6, 6-1 in an all-German encounter with three -time champion Philipp Kohlschreiber.
Also on Monday, Alex Molcan maintained his impressive clay-court form with a 6-1, 3-6, 7-6(7) win over fellow Slovak Norbert Gombos. Molcan defeated Felix Auger-Aliassime on his way to a second round-level final in Marrakech two weeks ago, but the World No. 46 faces a stern test in the second round as he lines up against second seed Ruud.