Zverev Surges To Munich Final
#NextGenATP German Alexander Zverev will go for his first title on home soil after beating second seed Roberto Bautista Agut 7-5, 7-5 on Saturday in the semi-finals of the BMW Open by FWU in Munich.
Zverev will be playing in his fifth career ATP World Tour final and his second of the season. The 6'6” right-hander will try to claim the third title of his young career, after winning his maiden crown last September at the St. Petersburg Open (d. Wawrinka) and claiming the Montpellier title earlier this year in February (d. Gasquet).
“Obviously Roberto is a very tough opponent on any surface, but especially on clay. So I'm very happy to get through that one and I'm very happy with how I played,” Zverev said.
Zverev, in his only other final in Germany, fell to countryman Florian Mayer in Halle last year. “Winning in Germany would be something amazing, something that I've dreamed about. But it's going to be a very tough match and I've got to stay focused,” Zverev said.
The Hamburg native will face Argentine Guido Pella, who outlasted #NextGenATP Korean Hyeon Chung 4-6, 7-5, 6-4. Pella will be playing in his second ATP World Tour final. He fell in the Rio de Janeiro title match in February 2016 to Pablo Cuevas.
The 26-year-old Pella has now won six consecutive matches, including qualifying, and is trying to become the first qualifier to win the Munich title since Martin Klizan in 2014.
“I hope tomorrow I will keep playing good and try to do my best to win the match,” Pella said. “I think it will be the toughest match of the tournament because it's a final. I play against a great player. He has a lot of experience in finals. He's won two other ATP World Tour titles. I expect him to play really good.”
Chung advanced to the semi-final earlier on Saturday, winning all three games against Klizan when their quarter-final match resumed. Their contest was suspended due to darkness on Friday with Chung leading 6-4, 3-6, 3-2.
Zverev had been 0-2 against Bautista Agut during their FedEx ATP Head2Head series. But the right-hander broke at 5-5 in the first set and clinched the opener when Bautista Agut couldn't handle a heavy forehand approach. Zverev attacked the net often against the Spaniard, attempting to apply pressure against the two-time Munich semi-finalist.
Zverev stayed aggressive as well, breaking to love to start the second set. From down 4-5 in the first set, Zverev won five consecutive games to go up a set and a break at 2-0 in the second set.
Bautista Agut would respond, though, breaking Zverev in an 11-point game to get back on serve at 2-2. But in the big moments, Zverev was too clutch. He broke again at 5-5 and ended the match with his ninth ace.
Saturday's win will only improve Zverev's place in the Emirates ATP Race To Milan, which will determine seven of the eight 21-and-under players who compete at the inaugural Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan. The eighth player will be determined by a wild card. Zverev currently leads the Race with 700 points.