Van De Zandschulp Downs Kecmanovic To Reach Maiden Tour Final
Botic van de Zandschulp recovered from a disappointing opening set to defeat Miomir Kecmanovic and clinch a spot in his maiden ATP Tour final at the BMW Open by American Express in Munich on Saturday.
The eighth seed was impressive in dealing with damp conditions and a consistently high level from his in-form opponent as he clinched a 2-6, 7-6(4), 6-4 semi-final victory to reach the championship match on debut at the ATP 250 event.
“I’m pretty tired,” said van de Zandschulp after prevailing in a two-hour, 52-minute encounter. “It was a long match, tough conditions, the court was so heavy, so I’m happy I made it through. It didn’t look like [I would] after the first set, so I’m really happy with the win.”
Although van de Zandschulp struggled at times for consistency, the Dutchman was delighted with how he had coped with the wet conditions that meant the centre court at the Iphitos Tennis Club played differently to during his quarter-final win over second seed Casper Ruud.
“I had to adjust a little bit,” said van de Zandschulp. “It was slower than yesterday, a lot heavier than yesterday, and he did better than me in the first. Second set I started to play better, smarter, and I’m happy I won 6-4 in the third.”
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Kecmanovic started with all the confidence of a player who has won 22 tour-level matches in 2022. He broke van de Zandschulp three times on his way to the first set, as the Dutchman struggled to replicate the level that earned him a third Top 10 win over World No. 7 Ruud on Friday.
Van de Zandschulp found his feet but still needed a second-set tie-break to level the match despite twice having broken to forge ahead. The momentum appeared to be with the World No. 40, who broke early in the decider to carve out a 3-1 lead. Despite being immediately broken back again by a stubborn Kecmanovic, it was van de Zandschulp who secured another decisive break in the tenth game of the set, converting his second match point after Kecmanovic pushed a volley wide.
The win brings van de Zandschulp level at 1-1 in the pair’s ATP Head2Head series, with Kecmanovic having triumphed in the previous meeting between the two at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells in March. Awaiting the Dutchman in Sunday’s final will be home favourite Oscar Otte or #NextGenATP Dane Holger Rune.