BRAUNSCHWEIG, July 14, 2018
Yannick Hanfmann celebrated his biggest triumph by clinching the title of the Sparkassen Open in Braunschweig. The No. 7 seed from Germany fought past Jozef Kovalik of Slovakia in Saturday’s singles final 6-2, 3-6, 6-3.
In front of about 1,500 spectators, Hanfmann sent down four aces, winning 70 per cent of his first service points and was more solid in the end to secure victory in two hours and two minutes.
“I think it was a very interesting match,” Hanfmann commented afterwards. “I played a solid first set, going a lot for his backhand. The momentum switched after losing my serve at the beginning of the second set. Nonetheless, I always had the feeling that I will get my chances. That’s what happened in the end.”
It is the third ATP Challenger title for Hanfmann, who previously lifted the trophies in Ismaning last year and Shymkent last month.
“At the beginning of the week, I would have never thought that I will win the title here,” Hanfmann said. “I came here, meeting my coach again and just wanted to think match by match. I guess this worked out pretty well.”
The 26-year-old Munich resident takes away €18,290 in prize money as well as 125 ATP ranking points.
“The tournament here is organized very well. As it takes place in Germany, it obviously makes it very special for me. It is always great to play in front of your home crowd. I went to school in Hannover for one year and I really enjoyed that time. I like the northern part of Germany. A trip to Braunschweig is always connected with good feelings. The only question, you have to raise is: why it isn’t part of the ATP World Tour?”
Cracking the top 100
Hanfmann will break into the top 100 on Monday, earning a spot in the main draw of the US Open for the very first time. “I will be ranked inside the top 100 at least for one week. This is very nice and I am really happy. If I continue like this, I will have the chance to climb up the rankings even higher.”
Hanfmann will spend next week at the TennisBase Oberhaching in Munich before playing the ATP events in Gstaad and Kitzbühel as well as the new ATP Challenger in Pullach. “That’s kind of a comfort zone for me and I am looking forward to it.”
Koolhof/Gonzalez take first team title
Earlier in the day, Wesley Koolhof from the Netherlands and Mexican Santiago Gonzalez clinched their first team title.
The top seeds defeated N. Sriram Balaji and Vishnu Vardhan of India 6-3, 6-3 in an entertaining doubles final. The encounter lasted one hour and 10 minutes.
“I think it was a great match,” Koolhof said. “The guys beat me last week in Wimbledon, so thank God I won today. It is a great event to play here, everyone’s watching and it feels like an ATP-tournament.”