SCHWIEBERDINGEN, January 15, 2016
The opening Grand Slam of the season down under is a mere two days away but in Europe the indoor season has already started. Six Germans were in action on quarterfinals Friday at the $10,000 ITF Future Südwestbank Tennis Grand Prix in Schwieberdingen.
Third seed Daniel Masur defeated Germany’s National Champion and the tournament’s number seven Oscar Otte 6-4, 6-4 in the opening match of the day.
Masur capitalized on two of his five break point chances in the seventh game of each set, withstood 12 aces, hitting eight of his own and served out in one hour and 24 minutes.
“We know each other very well, played and practiced a couple of times together. We see each other at lot of tournaments. Therefore we both knew what we had to expect from the match,” Masur told Tennis TourTalk after reaching the semif-finals.
“I think he had the better start. At 3-3 things began to change, as I was able to read his service better. I also started to serve better and gained more free points, which helped me to feel more comfortable on the court. One break in each set finally made the difference,” he summarized the encounter.
“In the next round I would like to start the way, in which I ended today’s match. I just need to be a bit more relaxed. But I am actually pretty satisfied with my performance today. I hit clean shots with good length and the service worked also well,” Masur is looking forward to his next task. Beating Germany’s current National Champion played only little role in today’s meeting with Otte.
“Maybe it was a bit of an issue ahead of the match, but on the court it did not affect our game in any way,” he told with a smile. “Unfortunately, I had to withdraw from the National Championships in December due to injury,” the 21-year-old German explained, playing his first tournament of the season in Schwieberdingen.
“Actually I do not like to play on carpet. I prefer clay, but after two or three matches, I have started to find my rhythm. There are not that many tournaments in January, so sometimes you have to play on a surface, which isn’t your favourite one. If you want to improve your game, you have to adapt to every kind of conditions,” the world number 410 said. Masur practiced in Munich’s Tennis Base Oberhaching in order to prepare for the new season.
“After last year’s final tournament, I did not play tennis at all for about 10 days. I spent my leisure time with friends and stayed at home with the family, which is always nice when you are on the tour for almost the entire year. Then we started with conditional and strength training for about two weeks. After that, I returned to the courts and also began to practice. The final weeks were only about playing matches during the training sessions,” Masur stated.
The third seed will face Petr Michnev next. The 26-year-old Czech has turned into the tournament’s dark horse. Michnev had knocked out top-seed Sebastien Boltz on Thursday before he advanced to the semi-finals through a 7-5, 4-6, 7-6 victory over fifth favourite Cem Ilkel on Friday. Michnev, who is the current world number 590, fired 15 aces and capitalized on four of his 10 break point chances to prevail in two hours and seven minutes.
In the remaining all-German-affairs fourth seed Kevin Krawietz ousted Dominik Böhler, who entered the main draw with a wild card. Krawietz won 90% of his first services and converted three of his four break point opportunities to seal victory in 77 minutes.
Krawietz set a semi-finals clash with former world number 33 Andreas Beck. The second seed in Schwieberdingen defeated the tournament’s number six Jan Choinski, winning 6-4, 7-5. Beck hit 14 aces and converted three of his eight break point chances to finish the encounter after two hours and four minutes.
Swiss Antoine Bellier and Frenchman Hugo Grenier captured the doubles title, winning the final against the all German combination of Andreas Mies and Oscar Otte 7-6, 6-4 in one hour and 31 minutes. It was the second trophy for the two 19-year-olds on the ITF Pro Circuit and their first team title. Both were in a hurry to catch their train to Bressuire, playing at the $10,000 ITF event in France next week.