MEERBUSCH, August 20, 2016
Three German players headlined Saturday’s semi-final action at the €42,500 Cittadino Challenger with two of them making their way into the title match.
Top seed Florian Mayer remained untroubled against his fellow member of the TennisBase Oberhaching Daniel Masur, winning 6-2, 6-2. The world number 73 sent down nine aces, saved both break points he faced, converting four of his own to advance to his second consecutive final in 63 minutes.
“I knew that I was going to be the favourite but it was a bit easier than I expected in the end. Daniel didn’t move so well today and maybe was still a bit tired from his long match yesterday. It was his first semi-final at Challenger level. Everything is still pretty new and you have to handle it on the court,” told Mayer.
The 32-year-old captured his 12th Challenger career title in Portoroz seven days ago. “I am happy with the win. I served well and played an overall solid match. It would be the first time for me to claim two titles in a row. I am looking forward to tomorrow.”
Mayer advanced to the final without dropping a set and will face with Maximilian Marterer another colleague from Munich. The 21-year-old Nuremberg native saw off Belgian youngster Clement Geens with a 6-0, 6-4 victory. Marterer took an almost perfect set in only 18 minutes. Geens needed some time to find his rhythm and made it on the scoreboard in the first game of the second frame. He gained his first and only break point four games later. Marterer, however, was too solid from the baseline and broke serve again in the seventh game to eventually advance to his first final on the ATP Challenger Tour after only 55 minutes.
“I had a very good start into the match, served well and gained a couple of free points, which makes me feel more comfortable on court. It has been my best performance so far this week,” a satisfied Marterer told Tennis TourTalk after the match.
“Nonetheless, my opponent remained dangerous and changed a bit his tactics in the second set, trying to put more pressure on me and the match could have gone either way. So I am happy to go through in straight sets.”
In Kenitra last year, Marterer fell to Roberto Carballés-Baena in the semis but this time he beat the Spanish youngster on Friday to play his first title match on the ATP Challenger Tour. “Of course, this is something special, in particular as this is going to happen here in Germany. I made the cut into the main draw only at the last moment. It’s great to be here.”
Marterer will play Mayer for the first time. “It will be mentally pretty tough to play against a good friend. He is a very good player and we recently practiced a lot together,” the youngster added.
In the doubles final second seeds Mikhail Elgin and Andrei Vasilevski will take on the tournament’s fourth favourites Sander Gille and Joran Vliegen.