Dutch players face tricky opponents in Wimbledon first round

Tallon Griekspoor at the Monte Carlo Masters in 2022. Photo: Flickr/Wikipedia

All three Dutch tennis players at Wimbledon are in action on Tuesday, facing different challenges as they try to reach the second round.

Tallon Griekspoor, who took over as Dutch number one with his tournament win in Rosmalen two weeks ago, is seeded 28th for the Grand Slam event.

He faces a tricky test in the 31-year-old Hungarian Márton Fucsovics, a grass-court specialist who won the only previous match between the players at Ahoy in 18 months ago.

Fucsovics, currently ranked 64th, also reached the quarter-finals of Wimbledon in 2021. “It’s a tough draw for a seeded player,” Griekspoor said. “But on the other hand, I don’t think he’ll be too thrilled to be playing me.”

The man Griekspoor displaced as the top Dutch player, Botic van de Zandschulp, is searching for form as he lines up against China’s Zhang Zhizhen.

Zhizhen is ranked below Van de Zandschulp, but arrives at Wimbledon boosted by his win in the warm-up tournament in Eastbourne, while the ninth-seeded Dutchman was knocked out early by Sweden’s Mikael Ymer.

“Things have been going a lot better in training,” Van de Zandschulp said. “I hope that gives me confidence.”

Brouwer debut

Gijs Brouwer, who made it through the qualifying tournament, faces the toughest test as he takes on the 19th seed and former world number two, Alexander Zverev of Germany.

The US-born Brouwer, ranked 143rd in the world, said he was looking forward to making his Wimbledon debut at the age of 27. “This is by far my favourite venue of the four Grand Slam tournaments,” he said.

Despite the long odds, Brouwer was talking up his chances of causing an upset. “They say he’s not so good on grass and I’m very comfortable on that surface,” he said. “I hope I can make life tough for him.”

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