HAMBURG, July 29, 2017
Two players ranked outside the top 100 will go head-to-head in Sunday’s singles final of the German Open Tennis Championships.
2014 Rothenbaum champion Leonardo Mayer has returned to the final with a 6-3, 7-5 win over fellow Argentine Federico Delbonis on Saturday afternoon. In the pair’s fourth meeting, the 30-year-old right-hander from Buenos Aires, who entered the main draw as lucky loser after defending champion Martin Klizan withdrew due to injury, sent down six aces, winning 73 per cent of his first service points to seal victory in one hour and 23 minutes.
“I was pretty nervous today. It is always difficult to play against another player from Argentina,” told Mayer after his third win over his compatriot. “I served pretty well with high first and second serve percentage, which made the difference in the end today. I am happy to reach the final here again.”
Three years ago, Mayer capped a dream week in Hamburg by clinching his first and so far only title on the ATP World Tour.
“I have great memories of this tournament. I like the city and enjoy playing here. The court is very nice and the crowd supports all the players, not only the Germans.”
Mayer could join Andrey Rublev as the second lucky loser winning an ATP World Tour event this season. The Russian teenager triumphed in Umag last week after losing in the second round of the qualifying.
“I hope that I can repeat it,” the World No. 138 told with a smile. Mayer rebounded after falling to German teenager Rudolf Molleker in the final round of qualifying on Sunday.
— Voo de Mar (@VoodeMar) 29. Juli 2017
Florian Mayer Advances
Later in the day, Florian Mayer benefited from the retirement of fellow-German Philipp Kohlschreiber, trailing 4-6, 3-2. In front of packed stands, Kohlschreiber was forced to stop playing due to injury.
“One of the more bizarre endings to a match…”
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) 29. Juli 2017
Mayer carries a 2-4 record in ATP World Tour title matches, seeking to lift a 500-level trophy for a second straight year. The German triumphed on home soil at the Gerry Weber Open in Halle last year.
“Claiming the title here in Hamburg would be crazy. I will do my very best to win the match tomorrow,” Mayer told afterwards.
The 33-year-old would be the first German champion at the Rothenbaum since Michael Stich in 1993. Florian Mayer is leading their head-to-head record 2-1. Their last match took place in Halle four years ago. The winner will crack the Top 50 on Monday.