Akugue, Hassan Crowned Germany’s National Tennis Champions

STARNBERG/BIBERACH, December 13, 2020

Teenager Noma Noha Akugue clinched the women’s singles title of the 49th edition of the German National Tennis Championships held on hard court at the WTB Indoor Tennis Centre in Biberach an der Riß. The 17-year-old Reinbek native, representing Hamburg’s Club an der Alster, defeated same-aged Nastasja Schunk of BASF TC Ludwigshafen 6-3, 6-3 on Sunday afternoon. Both players are part of Germany’s Porsche Talent Team.

“To win another title like this at the end of the season is of course great,” said Akugue, who celebrated her 17th birthday on December 2nd. “Actually, I wasn’t too optimistic ahead of the start of the tournament, because I hadn’t trained that well recently. But I pulled myself together and I improved throughout the tournament.”

Akugue knocked out No. 2 seed Jule Niemeier in the quarterfinals followed by a straight-set win over Alexandra Vecic, who advanced to the stage of the final eight at the junior’s competition of the Australian Open in January. And she mobilized all her strength for the title match: “I played against Nasti before, it was a close match. So I knew that I already had a chance,” said the left-hander, who started playing tennis in the kindergarten at the age of 3. Akugue has become the youngest national champion since 15-year-old Steffi Graf took the indoor title in Mainz 1984 and 16-year-old Isabel Cueto the same year outdoors.

Hassan hoists men’s trophy

In other action, Benjamin Hassan lifted the trophy of the men’s competition. The 25-year-old of the TK Kurhaus Aachen rallied from a set down to overcome Elmar Ejupovic 4-6, 7-6(5), 6-4 in the final. Hassan, who eliminated defending champion Daniel Masur in the semis, said: “I’m relieved and, of course, proud that the whole training has paid off for me after a very long break from competition. Overall, I returned well and managed to solve difficult situations.”

The two new German champions each pocketed €3,600 in prize money. The runner-ups took away from Biberach €2,300. The German National Tennis Championships offered a total prize money of €34,000.