Jan-Lennard Struff: Reached his third final and also the best world ranking of his career with 21st place
Photo: ANGELIKA WARMUTH / REUTERS
Just six weeks after his successful run into the Masters 1000 final in Madrid, Jan-Lennard Struff can continue to dream of his first title on the ATP tour. After beating Poland's Hubert Hurkacz 33-3, 6-6, 3-6, the 3-year-old also reached the final at the grass tournament in Stuttgart. There, Struff meets the third-seeded American Frances Tiafoe. US Open semi-finalist Tiafoe defeated Hungarian qualifier Marton Fucsovics 6-3, 7-6 (13-11) in his semifinals.
Struff is only playing his third final ever at an ATP tournament. Previously, he was defeated in Munich two years ago, at the Masters in Madrid last month, Struff lost to Carlos Alcaraz. In the world rankings, the Davis Cup player will be listed at least 21st on Monday - a career best.
At the beginning of the season still ranked 150th in the world
Struff, who was outside the top 150 in the world rankings at the beginning of the season, got off to a bad start against Hurkacz and was quickly 0-3 down. At first, he found no means against the serves of the 2022 Halle winner. It was not until the second round that Struff consistently used his first breakball to the decisive advantage for the set equalization. Struff, Stuttgart semi-finalist in 2019, continued to play aggressively as in the previous games, scoring again and again with his powerful forehand and deserving the success.
"I'm very, very happy. The atmosphere is world-class. I'm sure tomorrow will be really cool," said Struff. Boris Becker, who sat among the approximately 5,000 spectators on the sold-out Centre Court, also applauded Struff again and again. "It's a great victory for him. He plays with incredible confidence. Great lawn tennis, compliments," Becker said on ServusTV.
Against Hurkacz, who was seeded fourth, Struff turned up the heat after losing the first set. He also defied 21 aces from the Pole. Tiafoe had reached the final against Hungary's Marton Fucsovics. The balance between Struff and Tiafoe is balanced (1:1). The last duel dates back to 2020, which Struff won at the French Open.