SEEFELD, July 3, 2015
The second of two US-$ 10,000 ITF Future tournaments in Seefeld is nearing completion. The round of the last four took place on Friday, although a bit longer than planned due to bad weather.
The first semi-finals between the two 18-year-olds Lenny Hampel and Dmitry Popko started right at the moment, when a thunderstorm was coming up and after two breaks, play was suspended for about three hours and continued at 3-3. The Austrian wild card showed off some powerful serves as well as strong groundstrokes, but simply was too inconsistent with his shots. Hampel had the chance to take the opening set but couldn’t serve out in the tenth game. It was Popko, who gained the decisive break in the twelfth game to win the first frame.
The world number 407 from Kazakhstan, who is exactly two months older than his opponent, gained the decisive break in the fourth game through a nice forehand cross court winner, serving out for a 7-5, 6-1 victory on the green clay.
“The surface is not special here, it’s like playing on the red clay. The only difference is the altitude, as balls bounces differently. But I adapted to this conditions pretty well and I am happy to be in the final,” Popko told afterwards.
The Kazakh teenager will face Andrea Basso in Sunday’s final. The 21-year-old Italian leftie knocked out third seed and champion of last week’s tournament in Seefeld, Kirill Dmitriev, winning 7-6, 7-5. Basso was very solid throughout the match and the Russian seemed to be a bit tired after 13 days of tennis in Tyrol. The world number 572 from Italy broke his opponent’s service two times and prevailed after two hours of play.
“I knew that it would be a tough match but I served very well, which was the key in the end,” Basso told after winning his second meeting with Dmitriev. The first he won 6-0, 6-0 in Turkey in 2013. “I think he was injured back then. This was the reason. I have known him for many years and he is a very good player,” the Italian explained. “Tomorrow will be difficult again, like every final. It is my fourth final and I will try to do my best. So I will be totally focused on it, so no special plans for tonight.”
Isaak Arvidsson and Daniel Windahl captured the doubles title, winning the final 2-6, 7-5, 10-4 against the second seeded Brazilian pair of Eduardo Dischinger and Caio Silva. The two Swedes received not only 18 ATP ranking points as well as US-$ 620 in prize money, but also two bottles of wine, t-shirts and a special tennis balls box, filled with white balls. Vintage style in Seefeld.