Basilashvili Returns To Hamburg European Open Final
The defending champion from Georgia knocked out No. 2 seed Alexander Zverev in three sets to face Andrey Rublev of Russia for the title on Sunday.
Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia is back in the singles final of the Hamburg European Open. In one of the longest matches on the ATP Tour this season and in front of packed stands on Centre Court, the defending champion battled past No. 2 seed Alexander Zverev 6-4, 4-6, 7-6(5) on Saturday afternoon.
Basilashvili withstood 14 aces from the German, breaking his serve four times and eventually won two points more than Zverev to secure victory in three hours and seven minutes.
Following his comeback win against Filip Krajinovic in the quarterfinals, another Houdini act was required from Zverev, who was a set and a break down but managed to push the match the distance and even had match points at 5-3. The 22-year-old couldn’t serve it out and was leading 5-2 in the tie-break of the third but Basilashvili made five points in a row to prevail 7-5. The 27-year-old Georgian finished the exciting battle with a punishing forehand down the line.
“My mind was calm pretty much,” said Zverev. “I came back yesterday so I knew I could do it again today, and I was close to it. I was serving for those match points, but it didn’t happen. I guess it was a nice atmosphere and it was good for the crowd but now he is in the final and I lost. So, it’s not the nicest feeling in the world. “
Zverev will fly to Montreal on Wednesday, where he will compete in the Rogers Cup ATP Masters 1000 event, starting on August 5.
Back-to-back finals for Basilashvili
Basilashvili, who is coached by Jan de Witt, celebrated his 11th consecutive match win in Hamburg.
“It was a tight and tough match with a lot of ups and downs. It was also pretty emotional, but I was really concentrated on the ball,” Basilashvili said. “It’s very good to manage back-to-back finals here. Hopefully I will get a good rest to be ready for the title match tomorrow.”
Rublev into the title match
The World No. 16 from Georgia will next take on Andrey Rublev from Russia. The 21-year-old fought past Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain, winning 4-6, 7-5, 6-1.
Rublev fired 11 aces and won 72 per cent of his first-service points to advance after one hour and 51 Minutes.
“I don’t know how I did it. I played well in the important moments. Everything happened so quickly on the court, I am just happy,” said Rublev, who has managed to come back from a set and a break down for the second time in a row.
The World No. 78 will appear in his first tour-level final since finishing runner-up to Frenchman Gael Monfils in Doha at the beginning of last year. Rublev is seeking his second ATP Tour crown. He lifted his maiden trophy in Umag 2017.
The only previous meeting between the two was won by Basilashvili at the Qatar Open earlier this season. The Rothenbaum singles champion will receive $354,845 in prize money as well as 500 ATP-Ranking points.