Munich Open: Jan-Lennard Struff reaches maiden ATP Tour final after beating Ilya Ivashka in straight sets
Struff beat Belarusian qualifier Ilya Ivashka 6-4, 6-1 at the ATP clay court tournament in the Bavarian capital to finally end his miserable run of semi-final defeats.
Munich: Germany's Jan-Lennard Struff could barely contain his glee after victory on Saturday in Munich means he has reached his first final on the ATP tour at the eighth attempt.
The 31-year-old beat Belarusian qualifier Ilya Ivashka 6-4, 6-1 at the ATP clay court tournament in the Bavarian capital to finally end his miserable run of semi-final defeats.
"I am very happy to have reached my first final, here in Germany of all places, in Munich," Struff, who turned pro in 2009, told local broadcaster BR.
In Sunday's final, Struff, who hails from Warstein near Dortmund, faces either Norwegian second seed Casper Ruud or Georgia's Nikoloz Basilashvili.
"I'm very happy with the way I played," Struff said.
"It feels good to have won in two sets, but it wasn't easy."
The @Struffitennis title watch is ON 🇩🇪
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) May 1, 2021
Even though he is ranked 107th in the world, Ivashka had knocked out top seed Alexander Zverev in Friday's quarter-finals and raced into a 3-0 lead against Struff before the German wrestled back control of the semi-final.
Earlier, Ruud and Basilashvili reached the last four in Munich after winning their rain-interrupted quarter-finals.
Ruud earned a 6-3, 6-4 victory over eighth-seeded Australian John Millman, while Basilashvili beat Slovakian lucky loser Norbert Gombos for a 6-4, 6-4.
Halep had sailed through the first two rounds on the Spanish clay without dropping a set but she ended up second best in a match which yielded 15 breaks of serve.
Serbia Open: World No 1 Novak Djokovic commends Aslan Karatsev's 'bravery' following semi-final defeat
The 28th-ranked Karatsev saved 23 of 28 breakpoints to advance to his second final of the year following a 7-5, 4-6, 6-4 victory, gaining a measure of revenge for his defeat by Djokovic in the last four of the Australian Open.
On whether or not he will be vaccinated to guarantee entry to tournaments, 33-year-old Djokovic refused to commit himself.