AUGSBURG, August 9, 2019 (by Dietmar Kaspar)
On another sunny day with temperatures of more than 30 degrees Celsius, Friday’s quarterfinal action of the $46,000 Schwaben Open took place at the venue of the TC Augsburg Siebentisch.
In the first match on Center Court, Julian Lenz battled past 36-year-old Spaniard Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, who entered the tournament on position seven. The 26-year-old German outpointed the former World No. 23 131-122 to secure a 7-6, 3-6, 7-5 victory in just under three hours of play. In his third career semi-final on the ATP Challenger Tour, Giessen native Lenz is seeking a first spot in Sunday’s title match.
Watch the match point here.
“It was very tough to compete against a player with such a lot of experience. He always made the right decisions in important moments to get me into a difficult position on the court. I was not so relaxed today. Most time I played passive when I was leading, and went aggressive again when I was down. I am happy to get the win after a hard fight,“ Lenz said.
The World’s No. 313, who has practiced in Munich with coach Klaus Langenbach from KL Sports since the beginning of the year, and will next take on Emil Ruusuvuori.
The 20-year-old Finn knocked off No. 6 seed Pedro Martinez from Spain on Court 1, winning 6-3, 7-6(5). Ruusuvuori won 75 per cent of his first service points and broke his opponent three times to finish the encounter after exactly two hours. The No. 237 in the ATP rankings clinched his maiden singles title on the ATP Challenger Tour six weeks ago in Fergana,Uzbekistan on hard court.
„Pedro is a very tough opponent on clay. He can change the game style and runs a lot on the court. The first games were very close, but I started well with a break and held my service games until the end of the first set. I was leading by a break in the second set, but I had to win the second set in the tie-break,” Ruusuvuori stated.
Asked about his best career result on clay, he stated: „I played more tournaments on clay than in previous years to get used to the surface.”
Hanfmann continues good run on home soil
World No. 234 Yannick Hanfmann emerged victorious from the match of the day on Centre Court against ITF-entry Jeroen Vanneste from Belgium. The 27-year-old German broke the serve of his 25-year-old rival five times without losing a service game. After 59 minutes, Hanfmann prevailed by the score of 6-2, 6-1. After winning three of his four ATP Challenger titles in Germany, the Karlsruhe native is seeking another great result on home soil.
„It was mentally much easier for me today. To play against a foreign player in front of the home crowd is more relaxed. Everything in my game went well, so I was able to finish the match very fast to save some energy for tomorrow,” Hanfmann said.
The No. 15 seed will oppose Facundo Mena in the stage of the last four. The 26-year-old Argentinian stopped the run of German wild card entry Daniel Altmaier. World No. 315 Mena broke the service of his 20-year-old opponent three times to seal a 6-4, 7-6 win after one hour and 45 minutes.
After beating four German players in a row, Mena commented with a smile: „I know, it is not nice for the tournament. But if necessary I will try to beat the next German player“.
A look ahead
Semi-final action with two local favourites will be held on Saturday. Play in Augsburg will start at 12 noon. For tickets please visit the the tournament’s official homepage.