Altmaier Rallies In Heilbronn To Clinch Neckarcup Title

Daniel Altmaier (photo: Florian Heer)

HEILBRONN, May 14, 2022

Home favourite Daniel Altmaier has clinched the title of the eighth edition of the NECKARCUP. The top seed of the award-winning €90,280 ATP Challenger Tour tournament in Heilbronn fought past eighth favourite Andrej Martin of Slovakia 3-6, 6-1, 6-4  in Saturday’s singles final.

On another sunny day in southwestern Germay and in front of packed stands at the Tennis Club Trappensee, Altmaier overcame a slow start into the match. The World No. 66 found his rhythm in the second set but couldn’t take the momentum into the decider. Martin was a break up until Altmaier, supported by about 850 spectators on Center Court including his coach Francisco Yunis and his mother Galina, showed his comeback skills again to secure victory in one hour and 53 minutes.

By lifting his fourth ATP Challenger trophy, his first of the season and third on German soil following his triumphs in Braunschweig and Lüdenscheid last year, Altmaier pocketed €12,250 in prize money as well as 100 ATP Ranking points. The 23-year-old Kempen native will crack the Top 60 for the first time, reaching a new career-high on Monday and will become Germany’s new No. 2 player.

“It was definitely a hard piece of work today,” Altmaier told Tennis TourTalk. “He is a fighter and a final is always a tough one, as both players are confident after winning four matches in a row. Only a few things and maybe the mentalitiy was key today.”

“Winning at home means a lot to me. I have a pretty good 17-1 match record in Germany in the last four tournaments. It is a nice emotion to play here and I have started to feel comfortable. I am looking forward to many more events at home on the ATP Tour.”

Altmaier preferred to play at the NECKARCUP this week instead of competing in the ATP Masters 1000 in Rome to get into full swing for the upcoming clay-court climax at Roland-Garros. However, he has already announced that this was his last Challenger tournament. According to his coach Yunis, Altmaier is ready for the big tournaments now.

“I think I have the chance to cause damage on the ATP Tour in every single week,” Altmaier said. “It’s a big stage. I will play Lyon followed by the French Open and the full grass-court swing, which will be the first time for me. It’s a big opportunity and let’s go for this but also keep on working.”


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Barrientos/Reyes-Varela prevail in doubles

Earlier in the day, Nicolas Barrientos of Colombia and Mexican Miguel Angel Reyes-Varela earned the doubles title. In a final between two unseeded teams, they defeated the all-Dutch combination of Jelle Sels and Bart Stevens 7-5, 6-3. The encounter lasted one hour and 25 minutes.

“It was a tough day and the key was to stay calm, as there were a couple of ups and downs on both sides,” said Reyes-Varela, who executed with a tweener lob on match point. “I was lucky to get this ball in this point and it was perfect to hit it. I just went for it and it happened. I am just happy and it’s a plus but the most important thing is that we could win here.”

Barrientos and Reyes-Varela claimed their third team title following their triumphs on Mexican soil at San Luis Potosi and Aguascalientes. They split €5,250 in prize money and earned 100 ATP Doubles Ranking points.