Van De Zandschulp Knocks Off Ruud At BMW Open

Botic van de Zandschulp (photo: Florian Heer)

MUNICH, April 29, 2022

Botic van de Zandschulp upset World No. 7 and second-seeded Norwegian Casper Ruud in Friday’s quarterfinals of the BMW Open by American Express. Under blue sky in Munich, the eighth favourite from the Netherlands looked imperious on Centre Court of the MTCC Iphitos with outstanding ball striking and point construction from start to finish. The serve backed it up as well, as the 26-year-old won 80 per cent of his second-service points to secure victory in one hour and 33 minutes.

“I had some chances to break at the beginning but didn’t capitalize on it,” van de Zandschulp said. “I did quite well in the beginning of the second set and took the first chances I had. From there on, I served pretty well and played aggressively on my own games and that put some pressure on him. I made the second break and served it out.”

The World No. 40 and best-ranked Dutchman recorded his third career win over a Top 10 player. Van de Zanschulp skipped last week’s Barcelona Open due to a low back injury. “This has been bothering me since Marrakech. That’s why I took a week off and focused on practicing. But I was 100 per cent fit to play here. That helped a lot.”

Last year, van de Zandschulp competed in the main draw of all four Grand-Slam tournaments for the first time, highlighted by reaching the quarterfinals at the US Open.

“After the US Open it was about keeping the good level up and show some more good results. I think I did it pretty well last year and won a lot of matches. I also had a good start into this season. For me it was more of a boost than thinking like this is something I will not achieve anymore.”

In his only second semi-final on the ATP Tour after the 2021 St. Petersburg Open, van de Zandschulp will take on Miomir Kecmanovic. The No. 7 seed from Serbia knocked off Munich’s defending champion Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia 7-6(5), 6-2 in one hour and 26 minutes.

“It definitely feels good to win a quarterfinal after six tries,” said Kecmanovic, who will appear in his first semis of the year. “I am very happy and hopefully I can go all the way now.”

Otte into first ATP Tour semis

Later in the afternoon, Oscar Otte delighted his home crowd by beating Chilean lucky loser Alejandro Tabilo 6-1, 7-6(1). The 28-year-old Cologne native sent down six aces and capitalized on four of his seven break-point chances to advance after one hour and 25 minutes.

Otte, a winner of five ATP Challenger titles, has reached the stage of the final four at tour-level for the first time.

“It’s unbelievable. It’s such an amazing crowd here and it’s so good to play in Germany. I love the spectators, you helped me a lot today,” Otte said during his post-match on-court interview. The World No. 62 captured the trophy of the 2021 Wolffkran Open in Ismaning, situated close to the MTTC Iphitos.

“I have a lot of friends in Munich and I arrived pretty early, having some nice dinner over the weekend. I feel comfortable. I am looking forward to tomorrow.”

Otte will face Danish teenager Holger Rune on Saturday. The 18-year-old continued his great run of form this week in Bavaria by cruising past Emil Ruusuvuori from Finland 6-0, 6-2 in 62 minutes.

Munich Moments

* The German Tennis Federation (DTB) met the media in Munich to give an update on the current situation of tennis in Germany. DTB President Dietloff von Arnim announced that the Davis Cup Finals Group Stage in Hamburg will be held on indoor hard court at the Rothenbaum Tennis Stadium. Tickets will go on sale on May 10.

* Veronika Rücker has been appointed as the new Sports Director of the DTB. She will replace Klaus Eberhard, who will step down from the post on June 30.

* Otte was wearing a colorful propeller hat during his on-court interview. “I saw some guys walking down the street a couple of days ago when I went from the hotel to the club, wearing that cap. I promised them that if I win today, I will wear it during the interview,” the 28-year-old German explained his choice of clothing.