Zverev Wins Emotional First Title in Germany, Cilic Finds Form in Istanbul
Steen Kirby and Manuel Traquete, Tennis Atlantic
Alexander Zverev won his third career ATP title and his first in his home country of Germany, an emotional moment for the 20 year old who put his skills on display and thumped Guido Pella 6-4 6-3 in the final, dropping a set in just one of his four matches at the BMW Open this week. Zverev, one of the tournament favorites, beat Jeremy Chardy and Roberto Bautista Agut in a pair of close sets, and in the quarterfinals he needed three sets and a tiebreak to defeat countryman J.L. Struff. Zverev has had a great season thus far and could be challenging for the top 10 soon.
Pella, a 26 year old now 0-2 in ATP finals, is a clay specialist and came through qualifying defeating Cedrik-Marcel Stebe, Fabio Fognini, Horacio Zeballos, and Hyeon Chung to reach the final. Zeballos and Chung were three setters, as Chung came up just short of making it an all ATP next-gen final after upsetting Gael Monfils earlier in the tournament. Zeballos couldn’t outmuscle his countryman on clay.
Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah teamed up for more success on clay beating Jeremy Chardy and Fabrice Martin in the doubles final.
After struggling to start the year out, Marin Cilic moved to 6-1 on clay this year and helped protect his top 10 ranking with a 7-6 6-3 victory over Milos Raonic, who also found renewed form in Istanbul this week. Cilic now has 17 career titles and hasn’t dropped a set in his six wins on clay this season. In Istanbul he defeated Damir Dzumhur, Steve Darcis, and Diego Schwartzman in relatively easy fashion.
Raonic is 14-3 this year and reached his second final of the season after beating Aljaz Bedene, Bernard Tomic and Viktor Troicki, against Bedene he needed a third set tiebreak to prevail, but his level of tennis improved as the week went on, and he could serve as dark horse at Roland Garros.
Czech’s Roman Jebavy and Jiri Vesely won via a double bagel in the doubles final over Turkey’s Tuna Altuna and Italian Alessandro Motti, the most lopsided doubles final on tour this year.
Pablo Carreno Busta claimed his first ATP title on clay and his third overall ATP title, moving to 15-5 on clay this season with a routine 6-2 7-6 victory over surprise finalist Gilles Muller. PCB got ahead early and was never threatened, although Muller served better in the second set, Carreno Busta just nipping the tiebreak after beating three Spaniards this week to reach the final. Muller moves to 4-2 on clay this year and will look to keep the momentum up for his part.
Ryan Harrison and Michael Venus upset Tommy Robredo and David Marrero in straight sets to take the doubles final after a surprising week on clay.