RENNES/STARNBERG, September 18, 2021
Mats Moraing continued his fine run of form on the ATP Challenger Tour by reaching the final of the Open Blot Rennes. The 29-year-old German knocked out former Top 10 player and top seed Richard Gasquet of France 6-4, 5-7, 6-2 in Saturday’s semi-finals.
In front of a sold-out crowd on Court Central at Le Liberté, Moraing dominated the match with his serve, firing 23 aces. The World No. 193, who clinched his third ATP Challenger career title on clay at the NÖ Open in Tulln, Austria only seven days ago, won 82 per cent of his first-service points to prevail after one hour and 45 minutes.
“I’m very happy, it was a very tough match, I was very nervous at the start because the stands at Le Liberté were packed. But I played well in the first set, he started to play better in the second, I made mistakes at important times. In the third, I was strong, I served better, I’m very happy to go to the final,” Moraing said.
“Gasquet was ranked inside the Top 10, he’s an incredible player, it was an honor to share the court with him today.”
Bonzi dethrones Rinderknech
Later in the evening, Benjamin Bonzi remained unstoppable on the Challenger Circuit. The No. 3 seed of the €66,640 hard-court tournament and five-time Challenger winner this season knocked off No. 2 seed and defending Open Blot Rennes champion Arthur Rinderknech in an all-French battle 6-7(9), 7-6(4), 6-1.
Bonzi saved all five break points he faced and capitalized on two of his won five break-point chances to extend his winning streak on the ATP Challenger Tour to 19 matches after two hours and 24 minutes.
Challenger win streak ➡️ 19 😱 pic.twitter.com/GIgJwYzEJH
— ATP Challenger Tour (@ATPChallenger) September 18, 2021
“It wasn’t easy, we both served well in the first two sets. There were hardly any opportunities to break, we are getting into the tie-break and we both improved our level of play at the end of the set,” Bonzi said. “I have the chances before him, it doesn’t matter much. I knew you I had to hold my serve. I managed to break him, and the momentum came a little more on my side. It was not easy to stay in it, not to drop 5 or 10 per cent because he would take advantage of it right away.”
Bonzi is bidding for his sixth Challenger crown of 2021, facing Moraing for the first time. The German could lift his fourth Challenger career trophy.
“I know Mats Moraing, he’s a very dangerous player, especially on this surface,” Bonzi said. “He takes his chance on almost any ball. He is able to serve very well. It’s not going to be easy tomorrow. I play really well, focused and manage to keep my weak times as low as possible. Maybe that’s my strength right now.”
Dutchmen successful in doubles
In other action, Bart Stevens and Tim Van Rijthoven took the doubles title. The Dutchmen edged past the all-Czech combination of Marek Gengel and Tomas Machach 6-7(2)7-5, 10-3. The encounter lasted one hour and 23 minutes.
By winning their first team title, Stevens and van Rijthoven split €3,950 in prize money and pocketed 90 ATP Doubles Ranking points.
LES NEERLANDAIS SACRÉS EN DOUBLE 💥
Bart Stevens et Tim Van Rijthoven remporte la 15e édition de l’Open Blot Rennes 🇳🇱
6️⃣ 7️⃣ 🔟
7️⃣ 5️⃣ 3️⃣
— Open Blot Rennes (@OpenBlotRennes) September 18, 2021