Veteran vs. Young Gun Final Guaranteed for ATP Munich 2016
Marc Imperatori, Tennis Atlantic
The two semifinals at this year’s BMW Open will be highly anticipated. The top half will feature young German Alexander Zverev, vs. young Austrian Dominic Thiem in a titanic clay court battle, while the bottom half will feature Germany’s own Philipp Kohlschreiber, against the flamboyant Italian veteran Fabio Fognini.
(8)Alexander Zverev vs. (3)Dominic Thiem
Zverev made his fourth career ATP semifinal (second of the season) with a three set win over David Goffin, the tournament’s top seed. Zverev served far better than Goffin, and generated numerous break point chances, which was more than enough to help him prevail. Goffin never quite looked comfortable this week in Munich, while Zverev clearly feels at home, and he’s bidding for his first career ATP final.
Thiem has been a cut above Zverev this season, he’ll be looking for his sixth career ATP title and third of the season at just age 22. Ivan Dodig tested him by forcing a third set, but Thiem dictated play in the two sets that he won, as he was superior on clay.
The 19 year old Zverev is facing the 22 year old Thiem for the first time, and they will likely have many battles to come, as they represent the next generation of ATP talent that is coming into their own on tour.
(4)Philipp Kohlschreiber vs. (5)Fabio Fognini
Philipp Kohlschreiber is 3-1 in his career against Fabio Fognini, and should be the favorite to repeat as a finalist in Munich. He has four previous finals, and this would be his fifth if he wins. He’s also still in the running for a third career Munich title. Juan Martin Del Potro was simply too rusty, and didn’t appear comfortable on court, as he lost in straight sets to the German hero.
Fognini was given a tough match by lucky loser Jozef Kovalik, and he barely survived, pulling out the match 7-5 in the third. Fognini has moved to 8-6 on the season, and is in his first semifinal of the year, after making the semis or better three previous times last season. He’d love to make his return to the return to the top 20.
Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah reached the doubles final with a win over Alexander Peya and Julian Knowle.