Jan-Lennard Struff faces the first championship victory of his career in Munich. In the semi-finals, he showed a strong performance against the conqueror, favorite Alexander Zverev.
Munich (dpa) – After the match ball, Jan Lennard Struve briefly clenched his fists and avoided any loud cheers. The German tennis player stormed the first final of his career in the ATP tournament in Munich in a very impressive manner.
The 31-year-old Warsteiner beat Ilga Iwaschka of Belarus on Saturday in groups of 6: 4 and 6: 1 and clinched the first title in his somewhat long career. In the final on Sunday, he will face his coaching mate Nikolos Basilashvili of Georgia. Then Struve expects a lot of movement: “This is not going to be a slow game.”
After the sudden knockout of top-ranked favorite Alexander Zverev against Iwaschka, another German could secure a home win at the BMW Open at Aumeisterweg. In any case, there is external success: Basilashvili was only fifth on the list of seeders, while Struve was ranked seventh.
After two rock fights, each on three sets, the two-meter-tall Sauerlander saved energy in cool, wet weather. “But it wasn’t easy,” he admitted after the eighth semi-final of his ATP career and his first happy ending. Now the long-awaited home win must come in his 171st tournament in the Elite Tour.
Struve identified his composure as the key to success that day – unlike in the last 16, when he smashed a racket to stimulate him, he analyzed, “It was important to stay calm.” “I pulled his teeth little by little.”
One day after his three-hour fight against Philip Krajinovi, Struve needed something to get into the match. At first he lacked precision in the punches, and after some mistakes, Iwashka was fast with a score of 3-0. “He put me under very good pressure,” said BR’s Struve. “But it was important to stay in it.”
In contrast to the day before Zverev, Struve found a recipe against the aggressive Belarusian game. Thanks to his powerful serve – which Zverev missed altogether – the Davis Cup professional won five games in a row including a two break and scored after 48 minutes.
And follow the father of the family. He snatched his opponent’s second match in the second round and showed no weaknesses in his service. When Iwashaka broke again to 4-1, the initial decision was made. 1:26 on the first match point after Iwashka’s double foul.
Now Basilashvili should also be defeated in the final – but he showed his squad surprisingly 6: 1, 6: 2 in the semi-finals over second seed Casper Rudd. Like his Norwegian competitor, the Georgian had only finished the quarter-finals, which had been halted the day before due to rain, on Saturday morning.
Struve and Basilashvili often train together and have the same manager. Less than a month ago, they encountered each other in Cagliari – in Sardinia, Basilashvili sailed. However, Struff said: “It was my best game since Australia.”
© dpa-infocom, dpa: 210501-99-429320/4