Philipp Kohlscreiber and Feliciano Lopez battled it out on Pista Central Court in a round of 16 match in this years Barcelona Open. The German won 6-7(5), 7-5, 6-3 to advance to the quarterfinals where he will play Russian Andrey Kuznetsov, who defeated Radek Stepanek in straight sets.
Tiebreak separates first set, goes the way of Lopez
The match started with a break of serve, going the way of Philipp Kohlschreiber. In the next game, he consolidated the break and went 2-0 up on the Spaniard. At 3-1, the German set up a break by hitting a cross court winner.
However, he couldn't continue from there and Lopez ended up holding. Kohlschreiber struggled on serve, hitting a double-fault to give Lopez the chance to level. A backhand error from the world number 27 gifted Lopez the break and the set was level at 3-3.
Both players continued to hold their serve, with long rallies and good defensive skills from the two and the opening set needed a tiebreak. The breaker was going on serve until the sixth game, where Lopez got the mini break and went 2-4 up. From that moment on, Kohlschreiber couldn't break back, despite saving two set points. Lopez took the opening set 6-7(5).
Kohlschreiber fights back, takes the second set to force decider
Two holds of serve and the set was at 1-1. In the third game, Kohlschreiber won the rally at 40-30 and held to go infront. The first break of the set went the way of the 34-year old Spaniard with the German forced out wide on his backhand. Lopez would consolidate his break and go 2-4 up.
The German continued to fight and soon later got his first break chance of the set at advantage. Lopez saved one break, but ultimately Kohlschreiber would fight to win another break and this time he broke the Spaniards serve and held his next game and went ahead at 5-4 for only the first time since the beginning of the set.
In the following game, the 32-year old from Augsburg had two set points, but Lopez would fight to save them both and hold to level. With the set tight and tense, with long rallies, Kohlschreiber found himself with his third set point, but this time he made no mistake and gobbled up his chance to take the set and force a decider, 7-5.
Kohlschreiber wins decider and books spot in quarterfinal
The German held his service game, but on Lopez's there was drama. The Spaniard saved a break point, but with the score at advantage, Kohlschreiber had a point deducted and the game was awarded to Lopez. The next five games would see both players hold their serve and nerve and in the eighth game, the first break point of the third and final set went the way of the German number one.
He managed to break at the first time of asking and he was serving for the match at 5-3. On match point, Lopez hit a forehand long and after two hours 45 minutes, the German ended the contest and won to book his spot in the quarterfinals.
Match by the numbers
Kohlschreiber served 10 aces and only one double-fault compared to Lopez's six aces. The German served only 54 percent of first serves in, winning 74 percent and on his second won only 59 percent. Kohlschreiber won 35 percent of points on first return, compared to only 26 percent from Lopez. Both players faired better on second serve return points with Kohlscreiber winning 50 percent and Lopez 41 percent. Feliciano Lopez served 64 percent of serves in winning 65 percent, but on his second he struggled winning only 50 percent of points.
The 32-year old saved two out of four break points, while Lopez was made to work hard saving 60 percent. Kohlschreiber would convert 40 percent of breaks, while Lopez converted half of his chances. The 32-year old won 67 percent service points and 40 percent on return points, while Lopez won 60 percent on service games, but only 33 percent on return points. Overall, Kohlschreiber would win 53 percent of points and Lopez 47 percent.