HAMBURG- A near-full capacity crowd today here at the Am Rothenbaum as four top players competed for a place in the prestigious final of the Hamburg Open.
Both semifinals were both highly enthralling and competitive. Hamburg-born Alexander Zverev was clearly the crowd favourite as he played the defending champion, Nikoloz Basilashvili. The other semifinal match featured Thiem-slayer Andrey Rublev and former US Open semifinalist, Pablo Carreno Busta.
Basilashvili Saves 2 MP To Advance
Zverev was looking to become the first German to triumph here at the Hamburg Open since Michael Stich in 1993, and things were looking good for the tall German. The world no. 4 had the momentum in the match after coming back from a set and a break down to force a deciding set.
In the third set, the match was on Zverev’s racquet and he looked in firm control. The 21-year-old had two match points at 3-5 and led 5-2 in the third set tiebreak. Despite having a strong lead, Basilashvili battled back and reeled off five straight points in the third set tiebreak to return to the Hamburg Open final for the second consecutive year.
The world no. 4 was in good spirits despite the disappointing defeat on home soil, he said: “It was a nice week. Obviously, coming back home it was great and I played the semi-final.”
“Of course, I wanted to go further. I had all the chances in my hands but this is tennis and I’ll get over it.”
For Basiliashvili, it is his first ATP Tour final of the year and his third 500 series final of his career. “I was really emotional inside… But in general how I managed to come back from 5-2 in the tiebreak was something that I give credit to myself. It doesn’t happen with my tennis that often. So, I’m really happy.” Basilashvili said. “In the tiebreak, I was really concentrated on the ball. And just how to play tennis, how just to play the game. But inside I think Sascha was also very tight and emotional. And me also because it is one or two points that decide the match.”
Rublev Victorious Against Carreno Busta
It was a rollercoaster match with momentum swinging back and forth between both players. Carreno Busta looked to have the upper edge after he won the first set and looked to be the one to go in tomorrow’s final when he broke the young Russian’s serve early in the second set.
The crucial turning point for the match was when Rublev broke back and stole the second set off the 28-year-old Spaniard after being in firm control of the second set. It was clear being forced into a deciding set rattled Carreno Busta, as he could play the same level of intensity as he did for the first set and a half.
“It was a really tough match for me because he was playing really well. He was serving well, he was returning aggressively.” Rublev said. “I saw he was a little bit stressed [after won the third set] and he was not playing the same, not hitting the same, not serving the same. I said to myself, OK just keep calm and play the same.”
For the 21-year-old Russian, he will relish at the opportunity to be in the biggest final of his career and his first ATP Tour final of the year since Doha in January 2018. “It is my first ATP 500 final. I mean of course, I would like to win… I will try my best but anyway it’s an amazing week for me.” Rublev says.
Hamburg Open Full Semifinal Results:
Nikoloz Basilashvili  d. Alexander Zverev  6-4 4-6 7-6(5)
Andrey Rublev d. Pablo Carreno Busta 4-6 7-5 6-1