Jan-Lennard Struff recovered from a slow start to book a place in his first ATP Tour final at the BMW Open on Saturday. The seventh-seeded German registered a 6-4, 6-1 victory over Belarusian qualifier Ilya Ivashka in 87 minutes. “I am happy to have reached my first final on home soil in Germany and I will try my best tomorrow,” said the 31-year-old from Warstein. Struff will play fifth-seeded Georgia Nikoloz Basilashvili in the title match. He is tied at 2-2 in his ATP head-to-head contest against Basilashvili.
Earlier, Ivashka made the most of Struff’s slow start to secure a 3-0 lead. The German then found his service rhythm and fought back before saving three break points at 4-3 to see out the set 6-4. With momentum on his side, Struff dominated the second set from the start as Ivashka saved three break points in the opening game.
Struff eventually got the breakthrough two games later. The German consolidated his position to gain a 4-1 advantage and went on to win the set with relative ease. It is to be noted that Ivashka defeated two-time former champion and top seed Alexander Zverev on Friday.
The second semifinal was a straight forward affair as Basilashvili eased past second-seeded Norwegian Casper Ruud 6-1, 6-2 in 71 minutes. “I am feeling good and I am feeling fresh,” said Basilashvili. “I am looking forward to the final. I feel confident here and the court suits me, so it will be an interesting match tomorrow as we played recently in Italy.”
Cameron Norrie’s impressive 2021 continued on Saturday at the Millennium Estoril Open. The World No. 50 prevailed over former World No. 3 Marin Cilic 7-6, 7-5 in a hard-fought semifinal. Norrie, who is seeking his first ATP Tour title, will meet Albert Ramos-Vinolas in the final.
“I started a little bit slow and managed to ease my way into the match. [I] played really good when break point down and went after it,” Norrie said in his on-court interview.
“[Marin] was serving great and it was really tricky to get his first serve back. I am fortunate to get through and I am just happy to be in my second final.”