Ivashka Eliminates Munich Two-Time Champion Zverev

Ilya Ivashka (photo: Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)

MUNICH, April 30, 2021

Ilya Ivashka earned the biggest win of his career by knocking out top seed and two-time champion Alexander Zverev of Germany in Friday’s quarterfinals of the BMW Open in Munich.

The 27-year-old qualifier of Belarus benefited from 14 doubles faults of his opponent but also converted five of his 10 break-point chances to secure victory in two hours and 33 minutes.

“This match was very tough. I was close to lose in the second set but I fought well to stay in the match,” said Ivashka after celebrating his first match win over a Top 10 player. The World No. 107 also pushed clay-court king Rafael Nadal to three sets at last week’s Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell.

Zverev served for the match in the 11th game of the second set but couldn’t capitalize on his chances. “He is probably in the best shape of his life but that’s no reason to lose the match this way. I have to look at my own game,” a disappointed Zverev said. The World No. 6 will next compete in the Mutua Madrid Open.

Struff overcomes Krajinovic

Ivashka will try to continue his fine run of form against another German, as he will play Jan-Lennard Struff in the stage of the final four. Struff battled past fourth favourite Filip Krajinovic of Serbia 6-4, 4-6, 7-6(3). The 31-year-old struck 15 aces and won 77 per cent of his first-service points to prevail after exactly three hours of play.

“As expected, it was a a very hard match,” said Struff. “I started well but had a shitty beginning into the second set. I had a good feeling in the third set despite the ups and downs. He did a good job, put a lot of pressure on my second service. In the end I am very happy to reach my second semis here in Munich.”

The remaining two quarterfinals were suspended due to bad weather and will resume Saturday morning 11 am local time. No. 2. seed Casper Ruud of Norway is leading 6-3 over No. 8 seed John Millman from Australia and fifth seed Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia is 5-4 ahead of Slovakian lucky loser Norbert Gombos.