HAMBURG, July 28, 2018
The Rothenbaum tournament in Hamburg remains a fabulous spot on the ATP World Tour for the underdogs, as a quartet of unseeded players appeared in the semi-finals of the 2018 German Tennis Championships. This has been the third time this season following the events in Delray Beach and Istanbul.
Defending champion Leonardo Mayer fought past Slovakian qualifier Jozef Kovalik 6-7(6), 6-4, 7-6(7) on Saturday afternoon. The World No. 36 from Argentina and highest ranked player left in the singles draw saved one match point in the tie-break of the final set to prevail after two hours and 50 minutes.
“It was a great match today. I played very well against a very good opponent. I am pleased with my performance,” Mayer commented after reaching his third title match in Hamburg.
“It was a tough battle out there with a lot of fighting spirit and heart. It came down to a couple of important points and I was lucky to win most of them,” the two-time champion said.
“We had the hottest days in Hamburg I have ever experienced but I like the city and I enjoy playing here.”
Comeback-win from Basilashvili
Mayer will take on Nikoloz Basilashvili, who rallied past Nicolás Jarry 7-5, 0-6, 6-1 after one hour and 36 minutes.
The match was suspended for about two hours with Jarry leading 4-3 in the opening set due to bad weather. Unfortunately for the organizers, players and spectators, the roof on Centre Court is currently not working.
Weather update from Hamburg: It’s a bit windy
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) 28. Juli 2018
After the break, Jarry lost the opening set but from then on started an impressive comeback. He broke his opponent’s serve three times in a row to push the match the distance. Almost the same happened again in the final set, however, this time in favour of Basilashvili. The Tbilisi native won 81 per cent of his first service points, gaining two breaks to eventually secure victory.
“Nicolás was testing my emotions today, as he started very well at the beginning of the first set,” Basilashvili said. “I had to change my game plan in the following, as conditions became slower due to rain. This suited my game pretty well and I started to receive his strong serve from different positions.”
Basilashvili will appear in his third final. He finished runner-up in Kitzbühel 2016 as well as in Memphis last year. About three months ago he has started a partnership with coach Jan de Witt.
“He helps me a lot and it’s great to reach the title match here. I have worked so much for this. It’s a bit like a dream coming true. However it will be a tough match against Leonardo, who knows how to win this tournament,” Basilashvili is looking forward to Sunday.