Holger Rune ousts Oscar Otte for final Land Maiden ATP tour spot | ATP Tour

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Holger Rune’s dream week at the BMW Open by American Express in Munich continued in style on Saturday as the 19-year-old Dane beat home prospect Oscar Otte 6-4, 6-4 to reach a first ATP Tour final.

The #NextGenATP Dane hadn’t won back-to-back matches at tour level in 2022 before this week, but he made it four in a row in Munich as he outmaneuvered his opponent with more tennis on every high-class court available to him. had already earned a first Top 10 win over world No. 3 Alexander Zverev in the second round of the ATP 250 event.

“It’s a pretty surreal feeling,” Rune said after becoming Munich’s third-youngest runner-up in the Open era. “I didn’t expect that at all coming into this tournament, and I took it game by game. Obviously, I had a tough draw against Zverev in the second round, but I knew it was going to be tough, so I was ready from the start, and I’m super happy to be in the final.

Rune stayed with Otte in the opening set after the world No. 62 got off to a fast start and took a 4-1 lead early. The 19-year-old responded with five straight to come back strong and take the set as he increased the pressure on the German’s serve and volley tactics. He was forced to bide his time in a tight second set as the home crowd pushed Otte, but Rune grabbed the decisive break as he led 5-4 to set up a league game with Botic van de Zandschulp.

“It’s getting better and better, I’m getting better every day, and that’s what matters,” Rune said. “At the end, I have goals to be world No. 1 and you have to start somewhere, and I’m happy to be here in Munich.”

Rune reached his first Tour final without dropping a set, and the Dane was pleased with how he kept a calm head on his young shoulders when under pressure.

“I was quite close [to losing a set] twice this tournament,” Rune said. “I was down 4-1 today and 5-2 in the first round. [against Czech Jiri Lehecka]. I just tried to stay in the moment and stay calm, and that really helped me recover from those kinds of positions. I was always focused and that helped me.”

Van de Zandschulp had earlier recovered from a disappointing opening set to defeat Miomir Kecmanovic and also reach his first ATP Tour final.

The eighth seed was impressive in handling the wet conditions and a consistently high standard from his in-form opponent as he secured a 2-6, 7-6 (4 ), 6-4 to reach the championship game on his debut. at the ATP 250 event.

“I’m pretty tired,” van de Zandschulp said after winning a two-hour, 52-minute encounter. “It was a long game, tough conditions, the pitch was so heavy, so I’m glad I got through. It didn’t look like [I would] after the first set, so I’m really happy with the victory.

Although van de Zandschulp struggled at times for consistency, the Dutchman was delighted with the way he coped with the wet conditions which meant center court at Iphitos Tennis Club played differently in their quarter-final win over second seeded Casper Ruud.

“I had to adapt a bit,” said van de Zandschulp. “It was slower than yesterday, a lot heavier than yesterday, and he did better than me in the first set. In the second set, I started playing better, smarter, and I’m glad I got won 6-4 in the third.

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Kecmanovic started with all the confidence of a player who won 22 games at tour level in 2022. He broke van de Zandschulp three times on the way to the first set as the Dutchman struggled to replicate the level that earned him a third Top 10 defeating world number 7 Ruud on Friday.

Van de Zandschulp found his feet again but still needed a second-set tie-break to level the game despite two breaks to go ahead. The momentum seemed to be with the world No. 40, who broke early in the deciding match to carve out a 3-1 lead. Although he was immediately pushed back by a stubborn Kecmanovic, it was van de Zandschulp who earned another decisive break in the tenth game of the set, converting his second match point after Kecmanovic volleyed wide.

The victory takes van de Zandschulp to 1-1 in the pair’s ATP Head2Head series, with Kecmanovic having triumphed in the previous encounter between the pair at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells in March.

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