As the Tennis Point Exhibition series continues on Monday with four fresh matchups, Dustin Brown and Yannick Hanfmann, the two best players in the event, continue to head the field of 8 players.
It’s nice to finally play, it’s a little surreal to be honest, with everything that is actually going on in the world. With all the safety guidelines I think everyone has done pretty well, doing their best. Even sometimes when it’s not that easy. Very happy to be out here and have some fun. Dustin Brown
After winning each of his first 4 matches, Hanfmann fell to Britain’s Jan Choinski on Sunday in a pair of tiebreaks, losing his first two sets of the competition.
Choinski has been one of the best players at the event, winning 4 of his matches, and only losing to Hanfmann and Brown.
Brown came into the event as one of the best-known players and the highest ranked on the ATP Tour, and has maintained his dominance by winning 5 of his 6 matches., losing only to Hanfmann.
He had to dig deep to defeat Jean-Marc Werner 4-3(5) 4-3(4) in a contest that featured superb shotmaking, fantastic rallies and lots of smiles.
In his last contest, Brown is expected to come through against Benjamin Hassan, who has scored two wins thus far, although 2 of his 4 losses were three-set matches and his loss on Sunday included a second set tiebreak, 12-10.
Brown has said returning to competitive action at the Tennis Point Exhibition Series in Germany this week amidst the coronavirus pandemic is a surreal experience.
Known for famously beating Rafa Nadal at Wimbledon in 2015, Brown is the highest-profile player in the 8-man field at the event being held at the Base Tennis centre near Koblenz.
The ATP and WTA Tours remain suspended until mid-July at the earliest, but the event in Brown’s home country, the first of three that will form the Exo Tennis Series, has at least offered the chance of some competitive action.
“It’s nice to finally play, it’s a little surreal to be honest, with everything that is actually going on in the world,” former World No 64 Brown said after winning his opening two round-robin matches on Friday.
“With all the safety guidelines I think everyone has done pretty well, doing their best. Even sometimes when it’s not that easy. Very happy to be out here and have some fun.”
The event is taking place without spectators, line judges and ball kids, and there are no handshakes after the match.
Players arrive alone and have their own designated space at the clay-court venue to prepare. Once on court they sit at opposite sides during the changeovers.
Matches are played over a short format, first to four games and no advantage scoring.
Brown, speaking to the Tennis Channel who are streaming the action live, said in some respects it was a little easier.
“There is not that much pressure,” the 35-year-old, who helped devise the format with Base Tennis owner Rodney Rapson, said.
“It’s hard to get up and train when you don’t know when you can play so this event has definitely helped the mindset for the last couple of weeks, knowing something might happen.
“It’s been a little light at the end of the tunnel.”
Play on Monday will determine the standings ahead of the next Exo Tennis event starts on 7 May.