MEERBUSCH, August 19, 2016
The semi-finals of the €42,500 Cittadino Challenger are set, featuring with Florian Mayer, Daniel Masur and Maximilian Marterer three players, who practice at the Tennisbase Oberhaching.
Meerbusch’s number one Florian Mayer edged past Marc Sieber 6-4, 7-5. The 32-year-old saved two of the four break points he faced, capitalizing on four of his own. Mayer closed the match out after one hour and 41 minutes right before sunset.
“The match could have gone either way today. Marc moved incredibly well and played an overall great match. I just made the deciding points and I am really happy to win,” the former world number 18 told afterwards.
“Of course, I want to claim the title here now. Although the tournament’s highest ranked players have already lost, it will be still very tough and I need to give one hundred per cent in order to do so.”
Mayer will take on Daniel Masur. The world number 307 outlasted Aleksandre Metreveli in a topsy-turvy encounter 7-6, 3-6, 7-5 in two hours and 40 minutes.
“It was a in particular mentally very difficult today,” told Masur, who came back from a break down in the final set. “I think, I was calmer and steadier during the entire match. This can make the difference in the end. I am very happy with this win today.”
Masur started the season by lifting the ITF Future trophy in Schwieberdingen but then had to cope with an injury the following week, which broke his rhythm in the next couple of months.
“I was sidelined from the courts for about two months. It just takes time to get back to your best but my level has increased again since summer and this tournament seems to back it up.” The 21-year-old advanced to his first semi-final on Challenger level.
“It’s nice to make points at Future level but you need to defend it at Challenger level the following season, where you have to face stronger opponents. I made it to the quarters at a tournament in Asia last year but then ran a bit out of steam due to the conditions over there. Reaching the semis here in Germany now is special. I just feel fine here.”
Masur never played Mayer on the tour but of course knows his Saturday opponent very well. “It’s great to see all of us going deep into the week and that our hard work is paying off. We have the chance to practice together every day and it’s a great community. I spent a lot of time with Flo and his coach Tobias Summerer at the Challenger event in Braunschweig last month. We know each other pretty well and we both know what to expect from tomorrow’s match.”
Maximilian Marterer knocked out the tournament’s number two Roberto Carballés-Baena, rallying back from a set and a break down 3-6, 6-3, 6-1. After a slow start the 21-year-old leftie started to dictate a high-class match from the baseline in the middle of the second set, producing almost no unforced errors. Marterer, who already captured two ITF Future titles this season, sent down four aces and capitalized on six of his 14 break point chances to prevail in two hours and three minutes.
Marterer will next face Clement Geens. The 20-year-old Belgian fought past fifth seed Jerzy Janowicz 6-3, 6-7, 6-3 in the pair’s first meeting. Geens fired 16 aces, winning 88% of his first service points to convert his third match point after two hours and three minutes.
“It’s a good win for me today,” Geens told Tennis TourTalk, being pleased with his performance. “I wanted to make him move from the baseline and tried to be aggressive, which was the key.”
Geens made it to his first title match on the ATP Challenger Tour at the Poznan Open last month, finishing runner-up to Radu Albot. “It was a really nice experience in Poland and I gained a lot of confidence from this tournament. Now I know that I can beat good players. I played a lot of Futures at the beginning of the year but now I want to establish on the Challenger level. I would like to keep my ranking like this (No. 266) in order to get direct entry into the main draw of the Challengers.”
With current world number 13 David Goffin, there is also a kind of a role model for young tennis players in Belgium at the moment. “We practice together at the same place. It feels good to have a successful guy like him on the tour. I will try to catch up with him” Geens told with a smile. But first, he is looking forward to his semi-final encounter.
“I know Maximiliam a bit from junior’s level. He is a good player, serves well and has plays with a lot of intensity from the baseline. We will see how it goes but I think it is going to be an interesting match to watch for the spectators.”
Geens and Marterer will be first up on WBM Centre Court, followed by the second doubles semi-final and the all-Oberhaching-encounter between Mayer and Masur.