OSTRAVA, September 5, 2020
Red-hot Aslan Karatsev and in-form Oscar Otte are the two finalists of the 2020 Ostrava Open by Moneta. Both players advanced to the championship match following straight-set wins under a bright sky on a sunny Saturday at the SC Ostrava.
— TennisTourTalk (@TennisTourTalk) September 5, 2020
In front of about 250 spectators, Karatsev defeated Botic van de Zandschulp from the Netherlands 6-3, 6-3. The 27-year-old Russian saved all four break points he faced and capitalized on three of his own five break point opportunities to reach his third consecutive final on the ATP Challenger Tour after one hour and 18 minutes.
“I just focused on my game,” Karatsev told Tennis TourTalk about the key to success. “Towards the end of the match it was a bit tight. I had two games on 0-30 and I couldn’t make him play longer rallies. I did a couple of unforced errors but I stayed calm and focused.”
Karatsev, who finished runner-up to Stan Wawrinka in the first week after the re-start in Prague and captured his second ATP Challenger career trophy in the capital city of the Czech Republic last Sunday, is on a 10 match winning streak.
Is he currently playing his best tennis of his career? “I would say that my game has become more consistent, not having too many ups and downs. I also had to cope with a knee injury three years ago but now everything is fine. I just go from match to match. Now I will have a rest to start again tomorrow.”
Karatsev was ranked 253rd when the tour hit the pause button due to the COVID-19 outbreak in March. Currently sitting at World No. 140, he will be ranked near or inside the top 120 on Monday, depending on his Ostrava final result.
Otte beats Griekspoor
Later in the day, Oscar Otte continued his fine form with a 6-2, 6-4 victory over Dutch Tallon Griekspoor. The 27-year-old German fired 10 aces and won 88 per cent of his first-service points to prevail after one hour and 18 minutes.
“I had a strong start into the match and was maybe a bit fresher than Tallon, who played a lot of matches over the last three weeks,” Otte said. “Nonetheless, I showed a solid performance. I served well and I am very pleased with the result.”
The World No. 219 from Cologne will appear in his sixth ATP Challenger final, his first since April last year when he finished runner-up to Italian Stefano Travaglia at Francavilla, Italy. Otte captured his first and so far lone Challenger title at Lisbon, Portugal three years ago.
“Finals are always tough,” he said. “The best two players of the week are facing each other and only one can win. My record in finals is not the best (1-5) but I will not think about it. If my tennis is good tomorrow, I will hopefully take the title.”
Karatsev won the only previous meeting between the two at Eckental, Germany in 2015. The tournament, however, was played indoors on carpet.
Sitak/Zelenay take doubles title
Artem Sitak of New Zealand and Igor Zelenay from Slovakia took the doubles title. The top seeds of the €132,280 clay-court event defeated the all-Polish duo of Karol Drzewiecki and Szymon Walkow 7-5, 6-4. The encounter lasted one hour and 14 minutes.