Philipp Kohlschreiber leads the head-to-head 4-1 against Lukas Rosol, but the 50th-ranked Czech was hoping to give the 2013 Davis Cup champions the perfect start to the tie as he grabs the first set. The German tidied up his game and took the next two sets with relative ease. However, he let the Czech back into the match as the opening rubber went to a deciding set. Kohlschreiber eventually sealed the match 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, 2-6, 6-3 in under three hours.
Consistent Rosol Takes The First Set
Rosol started off the rubber brightly, breaking Kohlschreiber and racing to a 3-0 lead. The German then held serve for the first time for 3-1. Kohlschreiber was finding it harder to hold serve but fended off the big-hitting Czech to get an important hold trailing 2-4. The German seemed to have some groove as he started troubling Rosol in the seventh game, but the Czech hung on for a 5-2 lead. That early break enough to do the damage as Rosol closed out the first set 6-3 in 39 minutes.
Solid Kohlschreiber Comes Back Strongly
A renewed Kohlschreiber started the second set with a love hold. As the set went on, he was also returning much better which was allowing him to have a look on Rosol's service games. The Czech maintained his focus as he was hanging on. Kohlschreiber finally got rewarded with break points and capitalized for the first time for a 5-3 advantage. The German continued with his good serving dropping just four points on serve en route to clinching the set 6-3.
Momentum With The German
Kohlschreiber picked up where he left off, applying pressure on Rosol's serves and holding his own comfortably. He continued to trouble the Czech, unleashing a stunning backhand winner to set up break point and grabbed it for a 2-1 lead. Rosol barely got any looks on the German's serves. It was a clinical display of tennis from Kohlschreiber as he saw out the set 6-3 for a 2-1 set lead in the opening rubber.
Errors Start Coming In For Kohlschreiber And He Is Made To Pay
The German was eager to get to a perfect start in the fourth set as he created chance after chance in the first game. Rosol however dug deep to hold. The set continued on serves up until 3-2 where it started to go downhill for Kohlschreiber. The German played an error-filled game allowing the Czech to draw first blood in the fourth set. Rosol consolidated the break to go 5-2 ahead. The errors coming off the German's racket barely helped his cause as he handed Rosol triple set point. The Czech hammered a return winner to claim the fourth set 6-2 and push the rubber to a deciding set.
Kohlschreiber Tidies Up And Secures The Match
The German seemed determined to shrug off the poor fourth set as he once again got himself break opportunities in the first game. Rosol survived and eeked out a hold for 1-0. After that, the match got a lot tighter as both players were holding with ease.
It was Kohlschreiber though who stepped it up a level in the seventh game, earning triple break point with some great shots. Rosol was not looking to be beat down that easily as he found it in him to save all three of them. He failed to keep it up though as Kohlschreiber found the line and the breakthrough for a 4-3 lead. As the German consolidated the break for 5-3, the pressure proved too much for Rosol who handed Kohlschreiber three match points. Kohlschreiber got it done to give Germany a winning start.
Overall both players had decent serving statistics. The German winning 83 percent of his first serves and the Czech does not fall far behind winning 76 percent of them.
Rosol may be leading the winner count with 76 winners compared to Kohlschreiber's 70 but the Czech also had eight more unforced errors at 41.
The German created more break chances than his opponent and just converted one more than the Czech in what was an almost even match.