ORTISEI, October 14, 2017
Tim Pütz and Lorenzo Sonego will compete in Sunday’s €64,000 Sparkasse ATP Challenger Val Gardena, held at the Tennis Club Ortisei. Pütz fought past the tournament’s last seeded player standing, Pierre-Hugues Herbert of France, 6-7, 6-1, 7-6.
The 29-year-old German, who battled through the qualifying, gained the first break of the match in the second game of the second set. Pütz withstood 20 aces, hitting six of his own and benefited from Herbert’s eighth double fault at match point to secure victory in one two hours and four minutes.
“It was a close match today. I knew that I wouldn’t get too many chances on this fast surface here, but I was lucky in the end,” Pütz was happy after reaching his first singles final at ATP Challenger-level since he had finished runner-up to Ruben Bemelmans in Eckental 2014.
“This year has been the first time that I was able to play an entire season without any interruptions due to injuries. It is a great feeling to practice without any problems. It makes me happy and I am very pleased to see that I am able to capitalize on it achieving good results.”
Pütz had to undergo a knee injury in 2015 and dropped in the ATP rankings to World No. 459. In September, he made his debut for the German Davis Cup team, helping to stay in the World Group with a doubles win alongside Jan-Lennard Struff over Portugal’s Gastao Elias and Joao Sousa.
“It was an amazing experience and a fantastic week with a great team spirit. Having Boris Becker in our corner was awesome. I watched him playing when I was a kid. 20 years later I was on court with him. He made a very good job and was always supportive of the players.”
Pütz will have the chance to claim his maiden ATP Challenger crown in singles. Back in 2013, he clinched the doubles title here in Ortisei alongside fellow German Christopher Kas.
Sonego Wins Battle Of The Italian Wild Cards
The Frankfurt native will take on Lorenzo Sonego for the very first time. The 22-year-old emerged victorious from the battle of the Italian wild card entries with a 7-6, 7-6 win over Matteo Donati.
Sonego fired 11 aces and won four points more than his opponent.
“I have only seen him playing for the first time here in Ortisei,” said Pütz. “He plays very fast and has a good serve, but anything can happen tomorrow.” Sonego also eyes his first ATP Challenger title.