Struff Storms Into Munich Final, Faces Basilashvili

Jan-Lennard Struff (photo: Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)

MUNICH, May 1, 2021

Jan-Lennard Struff has reached his first title match on the ATP Tour. The 31-year-old German defeated in-form Belarusian qualifier Ilya Ivashka 6-4, 6-1 on a chilly Saturday afternoon at the BMW Open in Munich.

In his eighth semi-final appearance, Struff sent down nine aces and won 79 per cent of his first-service points to seal victory in one hour and 26 minutes.

“I am happy to have reached my first final on home soil in Germany and I will try my best tomorrow,” said Struff.

Basilashvili defeats Ruud

Later in the afternoon, Nikoloz Basilashvili eased past No. 2 seed Casper Ruud from Norway 6-1, 6-2. The No. 5 seed of Georgia saved the only break point he faced and capitalized on five of his own nine break-point chances to advance after one hour and 10 minutes.

“I feel confident here. I like heavy conditions and my mental area has improved,” said Basilashvili, who seems to enjoy playing in Germany. The 29-year-old already captured two titles at the Hamburg European Open in 2018 and 2019 and also won the Neckarcup ATP Challenger in Heilbronn 2016. After parting ways with Jan de Witt, Basilashvili is currently traveling the tour without a coach. The World No. 35 is seeking his fifth ATP Tour career title, his second of the season following his triumph in Doha, Qatar in March.

Basilashvili’s head-to-head record with Struff is tied at 3-3.

“He is mentally very strong and a good fighter with a big serve,” Basilashvili said of his upcoming well-known opponent. “We have played a couple of times and it was always tough. It will be very interesting and I am looking forward to the final.”

Double duty in singles, doubles final set

This morning, Ruud completed a 6-3, 6-4 quarterfinal win over No. 8 seed John Millman of Australia in one hour and 31 minutes, which had been interrupted by rain on Friday. Basilashvili also overcame Slovakian lucky loser Norbert Gombos 6-4, 6-4 in 84 minutes.

In the doubles final, top seed Wesley Koolhof from the Netherlands and Kevin Krawietz of Germany will take on No. 3 seeds Sander Gille and Joran Vliegen of Belgium. Their match will kick off Sunday’s action at the MTTC Iphitos starting at 11 am local time.