KOBLENZ, February 22, 2020
Tomas Machac continued his impressive run of form this week by reaching the final of the Koblenz Open. The 19-year-old from the Czech Republic knocked off No. 12 seed and 2017 champion Ruben Bemelmans of Belgium 6-2, 6-4 on Saturday afternoon.
Machac sent down six aces and won 93 per cent of his first-service points to prevail after one hour and 11 minutes.
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“I didn’t miss many points today and served very well. That was key today,” Machac told Tennis TourTalk after reaching his first title match on the ATP Challenger Tour. Asked what this means to him, the youngster remained calm. “At the moment nothing,” Machac said in an unemotional way. “The tournament will finish tomorrow.”
World No. 347 Machac, who admires Roger Federer but considers his own game more similar to the style of Novak Djokovic with excellent defensive skills on the court, practices at Sparta Prague. “I have been at this club since I was nine years old. In my opinion it is the best club in the Czech Republic. My coach is Daniel Vacek. He was No. 26 in the World in singles and No. 3 in doubles. He helps me a lot.
“The most important thing, however, is to stay healthy getting the chance to play about 25 tournaments in the year. For sure, I would like to compete at Challenger level on a regular basis. Cracking the Top 250 of the ATP-Rankings and to play qualifying at the Grand Slams that’s the biggest goal.”
Van de Zandschulp returns to final on German soil
Next up for Machac in Koblenz will be Botic van de Zandschulp. The 24-year-old from the Netherlands edged past Next-Gen Spaniard Nicola Kuhn 6-4, 3-6, 6-2. Van de Zandschulp, who lifted his maiden trophy on the ATP Challenger Tour in Hamburg last year, capitalized on four of his six break point chances to secure victory in one hour and 53 minutes.
Following his maiden triumph in Hamburg last year, Botic van de Zandschulp 🇳🇱 is back in another @ATPChallenger final on German soil.
— Florian Heer (@Florian_Heer) February 22, 2020
“He made more mistakes than me,” van de Zandschulp analyzed afterwards. “I didn’t play my best tennis. I felt a bit stiff from yesterday. I didn’t really feel my game today but I am glad that I won in the end. That’s a good win.”
After his victory in the quarterfinals, the Dutch mentioned that he had some problems with the light on Centre Court of the CGM Arena. “It really depends on what the people in the stands are wearing. If someone is wearing yellow or some colors, it is really tough to see the ball, but tomorrow will be a new day. Maybe everyone comes in black,” van de Zandschulp laughed and is looking forward to Sunday’s final.
The No. 6 seed emerged victorious from both previous meetings with Machac, winning at the ATP Challenger tournament in Glasgow and at the ITF World Tennis Tour M25 event in Stockholm last season.
“We had two good and close matches in the past. It’s going to be tough for sure,” van de Zandschulp said.
RESULTS – FEBRUARY 22, 2020
Singles – Semifinals
 B. Van de Zandschulp (NED) d  N. Kuhn (ESP) 64 36 62
T. Machac (CZE) d  R. Bemelmans (BEL) 62 64
Doubles – Semifinals
 S. Arends (NED) / D. Pel (NED) d  A. Begemann (GER) / F. Mergea (ROU) 36 63 10-7
J. Lenz (GER) / Y. Maden (GER) d R. Bemelmans (BEL) / D. Masur (GER) 26 61 10-2