HEILBRONN, May 16, 2015
An all-German-affair featuring the first meeting between Alexander Zverev and Jan-Lennard Struff headlined the action on semi-finals Saturday at Heilbronn’s Neckar Cup.
In the encounter between the two only remaining seeded players in the draw, Zverev was more solid with his second service winning 63% of the points. The tournament’s number five capitalized on four of his ten break points winning 6-3, 7-6 in one hour and 39 minutes.
“Still one match and I will get a rest of exactly one day,” Zverev, visibly exhausted but also utterly happy, told afterwards with regard to the qualification at Roland Garros. “Mentally I am a bit down but I feel good. I think that I played my best match of the entire week. It was pretty close today but we both played very well and I am looking forward to the final tomorrow.”
Zverev’s opponent at Heilbronn’s climax will be Guido Pella. The Argentine only had to save one break point to cruise past Yoshihito Nishioka winning 6-0, 6-1 in only 49 minutes.
“Today I played my best match, unbelievable tennis. I can’t remember the day, I played like this. I was aggressive the entire match. I knew that the rallies with him could take time, as he hits the ball like 15 or 20 times back. I knew that I needed to hit hard close to the lines. I served unbelievable, my forehand was incredible,” Pella was overwhelmed reaching his first ever final on European soil.
“I was 75 in the world but I have never reached a final here in Europe. This is very special for me, playing against the rising star from Germany. He is an amazing player. I saw him on the court today. It is going to be a very difficult match with all the crowd against me but I enjoy the week here in Germany with a lot of nice people,” the 24-year-old Argentine told about his first ever meeting with Zverev in Sunday’s final. His preparation will not be special.
“Of course you are always a bit nervous the evening before a final, but I just try to eat something light going to bed early and tomorrow I am trying to fight for every ball and hopefully I can manage to win,” Pella told us and received his probably best gift of the day – a kiss from his girl-friend.