HAMBURG, July 10, 2021
Home favourite Andrea Petkovic and Romanian qualifier Elena-Gabriela Ruse will compete in Sunday’s singles final of the Hamburg European Open. Petkovic emerged victorious from an all-German marathon match with wild card entry Jule Niemeier, winning 7-6(4), 4-6, 7-5 after nearly three hours.
In front of an enthusiastic crowd at the Rothenbaum Tennis Stadium, Petkovic was the more solid player in the end. The World No. 130 gained a decisive break in the 11th game of the final set and served it out.
What a match and what a moment for @andreapetkovic! 👏🇩🇪
— Tennis Channel International (@TennisChanneli) July 10, 2021
“Jule is amazing. I think the next generation is ready to take over. Today, the older generation prevailed but for how much longer is the question,” a dancing Petkovic said during an on-court interview. “We had our ups and downs. We were both nervous at the beginning, having a bunch of doubles faults. Then, once we found our rhythm it was a great match. She played tremendous and I am happy to go through today.”
Petkovic will appear in her first championship match since winning her sixth career title at Antwerp, Belgium in 2015. In her 12th WTA final overall, the Darmstadt native will be seeking her first triumph on home soil, something she’s looking forward to.
“I feel like I am 25 again,” Petkovic said.
Ruse into first WTA final
Earlier on Centre Court, Ruse continued her dream run in Hamburg by knocking out top seed Dayana Yastremska from Ukraine 2-6, 6-1, 6-4. In the final stage of the match, the World No. 198 secured a break in the eighth game of the third set, but she was unable to serve it out as Yastremska showed a couple of powerful backhand winners. However, Ruse kept her fantastic level up and capitalized on her first match point in the following game to advance to her first WTA Tour-level final.
“What can I say? I am in shock right now. I didn’t expect it. It’s unbelievable what is going on this week here in Hamburg,” Ruse said during her on-court interview following the match.
“We were both pretty tired today. I tried to focus on my game, being aggressive and tried to stay close to the baseline,” she added later in her press conference.
“I am a fighter. I came back from a lot of injuries and had some bad moments over the last months. So, I am really happy with this tournament. I hope that I can take the trophy home.”
Ruse, a winner of six career titles on the ITF Pro Circuit, is seeking her maiden WTA crown. The pair will meet for the first time.
“We practiced together here three days ahead of the start of the tournament and she played very well,” Petkovic said of her upcoming rival. “That’s what she proved in her matches throughout the week. She beat a couple of good players, but competing in a final here in Hamburg – one my favourite cities in Germany and in the whole world – is the icing on the cake.”
In the doubles final, Italian Jasmine Paolini and Jil Teichmann from Switzerland will take on Australia’s Astra Sharma and Rosalie van der Hoek from the Netherlands.
WTA meets ATP Tour in Hamburg
The Hamburg European Open stands for diversity and equality and is happy to have both men’s and women’s tennis back at the Rothenbaum Tennis Stadium this year. While the WTA Tour event is coming down the stretch this weekend, the qualifying of the ATP 500 tournament kicked off on Saturday.
“It was my goal to have men’s and women’s tennis action next to each other,” tournament ambassador Petkovic said earlier in the week. “You can see that there is not that much of a difference. The performances are great. I hope that this will help Hamburg to establish itself as a regular stop on the tennis circuit.”