OSTRAVA, September 4, 2020
Thanks to a straight-set victory from Oscar Otte over Zdenek Kolar of the Czech Republic, no local player has been left in the singles draw of the 2020 Ostrava Open by Moneta. The 27-year-old German won Friday’s quarterfinal match at the €132,280 ATP Challenger clay-court event 6-1, 6-1.
Otte was in cruise mode right from the beginning. The World No. 219 sent down seven aces and won 76 per cent of his first-service points to advance in only 53 minutes. “I felt good on court again, like I did the previous days,” Otte told Tennis TourTalk after the encounter. “My opponent didn’t play his best tennis today, but I was very focused and showed a solid performance.”
Following two tournaments in Prague, the Cologne native is playing his third consecutive week in the Czech Republic since the re-start of the circuit. Otte feels comfortable. “It’s pretty normal here. You almost don’t have the feeling that the virus is still out there. Of course, there are still the necessary health measures but overall it is pretty pleasant to play here. You have your freedom without sticking in a bubble like you do at some other tournaments. It’s fun and we are all happy to be back on the court.”
The testing has become almost routine for the players. “You get used to it,” Otte explained. “At the beginning it was quite uncomfortable but it has become better. Twice a week you go there and come back. That’s all pretty easy. Of course health is top priority but everything seems to be done within reason.”
Otte’s best friend on tour, Mats Moraing lost to Aslan Karatsev, champion of last week’s RPM Prague Open by Moneta. The red-hot Russian secured a 6-3, 6-3 victory in one hour and 16 minutes.
“Mats and I have been traveling the tour together for almost three years now and we get along well,” Otte said. “His cousin Emma is my girl-friend. After we came together I moved to Mülheim to practice at the Tennis Center Moraing. It feels like almost being part of the family. That’s pretty cool.”
In times with less tournaments held during a week, Otte also feels stronger competition on the circuit. “There are a lot of very good players around. In general, it feels like the level and the competition is getting stronger. There are many talented young players and the veterans are also still competing. It’s great to perform at such a high level.”
Otte, who worked on his physical performance during the suspension of the tour, will face another tough competitor when he will meet Tallon Griekspoor in the semi-finals. The 24-year-old from the Netherlands, runner-up at Prague last Sunday, knocked out the No. 2 seed Ilya Ivashka from Belarus. Griekspoor capitalized on five of his seven break point chances to prevail 7-6(3), 6-3 after one hour and 43 minutes.
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“It will be a really difficult match tomorrow,” Otte said of his upcoming opponent. “We both are in good shape. He played many matches, also in doubles, which could maybe be an advantage for me but we will see. It will be a pretty open match.”
In the second semi-final, Karatsev will take on Botic van de Zandschulp. The 24-year-old Dutch rallied past Lukas Lacko from Slovakia on Court 3, winning 5-7, 6-3, 6-1 after two hours and 12 minutes.
The doubles final will also be played on Saturday featuring Artem Sitak from New Zealand and Igor Zelenay from Slovakia facing the all-Polish duo of Karol Drzewiecki and Szymon Walkow for the title.