Ilya Ivashka upsets World No. 6 Alexander Zverev in Munich

The Belarusian came from a set down to defeat the German favourite in a three-set thriller to set up a semifinal clash against Jan-Lennard Struff.

Ilya Ivashka in action against Alexander Zverev; Credit: BMW Open Twitter

Ilya Ivashka has pulled off the biggest victory of his career, defeating World No. 6 Alexander Zverev in the quarter-finals of the BMW Open in Munich on Friday. The Belarusian won nine of the final 12 games of the match to secure a 6-7, 7-5, 6-3 victory on Centre Court. The German, who was considered the favourite to lift the trophy, was expected to dominate the proceedings on Friday, but he found the going tough from the word go.

In a very tight contest, both the players struggled to exert their dominance. A tie-breaker was needed for Zverev to bag the first set. The second set was more or less the same until the German started to show a glimpse of his ability. But, Ivashka capitalised on double faults late in the second set to eventually win it 7-5.

He then claimed the crucial break of the deciding set at 4-3 to register his first Top 10 win. “This match was really tough for me and I was [close to losing] in the second set,” Ivashka said in his post-match interview. “I managed well and I tried stay in and fight until the last moment to see if he would give [me] chances and it happened.”

Ivashka had recently reached the AnyTech365 Andalucia Open quarterfinals in Marbella and entered the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell second round. “I just came to play match after match,” Ivashka said. “I knew that I had played well [in the] previous weeks, but I was not expecting [this run].”

The 27-year-old will next play Jan-Lennard Struff for a spot in the championship match. “[Struff] is a great player,” Ivashka said. “We played one time in Davis Cup last year and it was a good match. He played unbelievable.”

Earlier, Struff survived a thriller to defeat Filip Krajinovic 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 in a tie breaker on Centre Court. The 31-year-old is through to his second semifinal in Munich.

“It was a very, very hard match,” Struff said in his on-court interview. “I expected a very tough match and a hard fight. In the end, I am very happy that I could reach my second semifinal in Munich.”

Sportslumo Desk

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