POREC, March 15, 2019
ITF World No. 621 Constantin Schmitz advanced to his first semi-final on the ITF World Tennis Tour this season. On Friday morning, the 23-year-old German qualifier knocked out No. 3 seed Andrea Basso of Italy, winning 7-5, 7-6(3) at the $15,000 Istarska Rivijera in Porec, the first stop of a three-week clay-court swing in Croatia.
Schmitz won 68 per cent of his first service points and converted five of his seven break point opportunities to secure victory in one hour and 55 minutes.
“Clay-court matches are always pretty intense. It was a tough fight today and I happy to win in the end,” Schmitz told Tennis TourTalk. “I have already made it into one final on clay and I feel comfortable on this surface. It’s great that I made it into the semis here, as this is my first clay-court tournament of the season.”
Schmitz, a former college player and two-time ITA All-American as well as Tulane University Male Student-Athlete of the Year 2017-18, graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management in May last year and has started to play “Futures” on a regular basis since then.
“I was a good junior but struggled with injuries. College tennis helped me to keep my career up and now I want to to establish myself on the Pro Circuit. I don’t set any particular goals in terms of ranking points or positions. I know that if I play a good level of tennis, I will get proper results.”
A next step in the right direction can be made in Saturday’s semi-finals when Schmitz opens the day’s action at the Tenis Centre Pical against Maxime Chazal. The 25-year-old Frenchman advanced to the stage of the final four with a 6-4, 6-4 win over No. 6 seeded Italian Luca Giacomini. The encounter lasted one hour and 48 minutes.
Hassan falls in singles, advances to the doubles final with Schmitz
Benjamin Hassan, who is Schmitz’s practice partner at his home base in Koblenz, Germany, fell in the quarterfinals. The No. 4 seed lost to the tournament’s No. 8 Ergi Kirkin of Turkey 6-1, 4-6, 2-6. The 20-year-old Ankara native capitalized on five of his nine break point chances to prevail after one hour and 54 minutes. Kirkin will next challenge top-seed Andrea Pellegrino of Italy. The World No. 345 eased past Slovenia’s Nik Razborsek 6-0, 6-4 in one hour and 29 minutes.
Later in the day, Hassan and Schmitz teamed up to reach the doubles final. The all-German tandem came from a set down to overcome Croatian siblings Ivan and Matej Sabanov 6-7(4), 7-5, 10-6. Hassan and Schmitt will take on Nik Razborsek and his Slovenian partner Mike Urbanija for the title on Saturday.
Photo Gallery (by Florian Heer):