Leo Mayer Lifts Second Hamburg Crown
July is the month of the lucky loser on the ATP World Tour. Seven days after falling in the final round of qualifying, Leonardo Mayer was the last man standing at the German Tennis Championships 2017 on Sunday, defeating Florian Mayer 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 in Hamburg.
Leonardo, whose lone previous ATP World Tour title came at the Am Rothenbaum in 2014, needed one hour and 57 minutes to dismiss Florian, firing 44 total winners, including 28 off his forehand wing.
It marks the second straight week that a lucky loser has lifted an ATP World Tour trophy, following #NextGenATP Andrey Rublev's maiden triumph in Umag. Leonardo fell to German 16-year-old Rudolf Molleker last Sunday, before gaining entry into the main draw when Martin Klizan withdrew due to a calf injury.
"It's amazing to win in Hamburg again," said Leonardo, who was joined by his wife Milagros and son Valentino after the match. "It's like home here and I feel very comfortable. I like the city and I always play well here.
"It's something special about this sport. I lost in qualifying and then beat the No. 1 seed Albert Ramos-Vinolas in the first round. It also happened last week in Umag with Rublev. Now I took the opportunity."
At No. 138 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, he is the lowest-ranked winner since Florian won in Halle at No. 192 last year. Leonardo will take home 500 Emirates ATP Rankings points and €323,145 in prize money, returning to the Top 50 for the first time since May 2016. Germany's Mayer, who was trying to win his third ATP World Tour title, will receive 300 Emirates ATP Rankings points and €158,320 in prize money.
The two exchanged breaks midway through the first set before Leonardo broke to take the first set when Florian pulled a volley wide.
The German veteran fought back, though, breaking in the ninth game of the second set and forcing the decider with an ace. In the third set, though, Leonardo battled through a rough beginning, saving break points in two consecutive service game. Leonardo then broke for 5-3 and clinched the title on his first match point.
"I'm very happy with my performance this week, especially to be in the final of a 500 tournament," said Florian, who was bidding to become the first German to win in Hamburg since Michael Stich in 1993. "It was a big match and a big fight. A very nice week for me. Maybe I got a little tired at the end and Leo played incredibly well. He deserved to win."