HEILBRONN, May 18, 2019
Top seed Filip Krajinovic will take on Arthur de Greef in Sunday’s singles final of the Neckarcup 2019. The World No. 69 from Serbia came back from a set and a double break down against Stefano Travaglia from Italy, rallying 1-6, 7-6(5), 6-1 on a mostly sunny Saturday afternoon in Heilbronn.
Krajinovic broke his opponent’s serve five times to prevail after two hours and two minutes to reach his second ATP Challenger final of the season. The 27-year-old finished runner-up to Dustin Brown at the Mouratoglou Open last month.
“It was a tough match. He had a good start and simply played too well in the first and a half sets, but I was able to fight back,” Krajinovic said. “I had nothing to lose ands started to be more aggressive on the court. I like to play here and I am grateful for the wild card. Now, I am looking forward to the final.”
De Greef edges out Novak
Later in the afternoon, de Greef defeaetd No. 11 seeded Austrian Dennis Novak 6-3, 7-5. The 27-year-old Belgian won 56 per cent of the total points played to secure victory in one hour and 21 minutes.
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“I started with a new coach this week, so it is an important result to me. My level is going up,” de Greef said after reaching his first ATP Challenger final of the year.
The unseeded player from Brussels won the only previous meeting with Krajinovic at the ATP Challenger clay-court event in Napoli 2016.
“I remember that match and it was very tough,” de Greef said. “I expect it to be tough again tomorrow. He is seeded No. 1 and he is having a good year. I will try to do my best and then we’ll see.”
De Greef is seeking his third Challenger career trophy. Krajinovic could clinch his 10th title at Challenger level, his second in Heilbronn following his triumph in 2017.
Sunday’s tennis action will start at 1 pm local time with the doubles final when top seeded Germans Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies will take on Andre Begemann of Germany and Frenchman Fabrice Martin.
The singles title match will be played not before 3 pm.