In front of about sixty spectators, two Germans faced the tournament’s top-seeds on Sunday’s finals of the 13th edition of the Südwestbank-Cup in Stuttgart-Stammheim.
The women were first up on court when the only 18-year-old Antonia Lottner took on top-seeded Pemra Özgen from Turkey for the first time. The teenager from Düsseldorf had a nervous start into the encounter and produced a couple of unforced errors in the early stages of the match. Özgen, who reached the final without dropping a set, took the opening set in the ninth game but the longer the match lasted, the better Lottner became. The German youngster broke her opponent’s service in the eighth game of the second set and took the encounter the distance. Lottner started to outplay Özgen from the baseline, dictated the rallies and hit more and more clean volley winners. After one hour and 50 minutes, the world number 431 served out winning 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 to gain her fifth ITF career title.
“It’s really nice to win this tournament here in Stuttgart. Normally, you say that you hope to return next year in order to defend your title but actually I hope to play bigger tournaments at this time in 2016,” the German talent told and had to cope with a little accident that happened when she dropped her trophy right after the ceremony – “Break a thing, mend your luck!” could be the motto for the rest of her season.
In the men’s final top-seed Uladzimir Ignatik, who had to battle through the qualification as he entered the tournament too late, faced another German talent in person of Maximilian Marterer. The latter lost all of his five finals he played before on the ITF Future Circuit and was highly motivated to do better in Stuttgart. Marterer dictated most of the rallies in the beginning of an encounter, which was dominated by the services of both players. The leftie from Nuremberg hit 17 aces throughout the final and took the opening set in 33 minutes. Ignatik needed some time to find his rhythm and to read his opponent’s serves better. The world number 220 from Minsk capitalized on his very first break points in the third game of the second set and after 77 minutes the final went the distance. In an even third set, Marterer emerged victorious winning an intense and highly entertaining match with some spectacular rallies. In the twelfth game, Ignatik lost his focus hitting a couple of unforced errors and the 19-year-old German converted his first match point winning 6-4, 4-6, 7-5 in two hours and 14 minutes to capture his maiden title on the ITF Future Tour.
“I really do not know what the deciding factor in the end was. We both had our chances in the final set but eventually only nuances made the difference. We played a couple of long rallies, I tried to stay competitive until the end of the match and I really gave everything,” Marterer, who was visibly exhausted, told afterwards. “I am going to play the next two German Futures in Kaarst and Nussloch before I would like to enter some ATP Challenger qualifications. Getting into the top 300 by the end of the season would be great,” the current world number 462 told about his goal as well as his further schedule.