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Just two men are left in contention at the ATP Kitzbuhel Open, where both finalists will be looking to claim their first ATP Tour title, as well as continue their momentum ahead of the Italian Open and Roland Garros. But will it be Miomir Kecmanovic or qualifier Yannick Hanfmann who claims the title in Austria?
Kitzbuhel Open Final Prediction
Miomir Kecmanovic vs Yannick Hanfmann
Head-to-head: first meeting
Kecmanovic, who will be contesting his second tour-level final, should be mightily pleased with his efforts so far at the Kitzbuhel Open. After a second-round exit at the US Open, the Serbian has played himself into some form ahead of Rome and Paris. He opened his campaign with a battling 4-6 6-2 6-2 win over sixth seed Kei Nishikori and he backed that up by beating Jordan Thompson in straight-sets to reach the quarterfinals. There, he edged out Federico Delbonis 6-4 6-7 7-5.
However, he was not quite at his best in the semifinals. He made just 38% of his first serves and served 16 double faults. he was fortunate that Switzerland’s Marc-Andrea Huesler, playing in his first tour-level semifinal, failed to take advantage, with Kecmanovic eventually digging out a 6-2 5-7 6-3 win over the Swiss. But he may well need to raise his level up against Hanfmann, who is enjoying one of the finest weeks of his career and has been playing some nerveless tennis.
The German, although he has less experience on the ATP Tour than Kecmanovic, has also reached a final at this level, losing the title match in Gstaad in 2017. He has recaptured the form that saw him put together that memorable run in Switzerland this week, coming through the qualifying with wins over Ernests Gulbis and Thiago Monteiro, before beating Alexander Bublik, third seed Dusan Lajovic and his compatriot Maximilian Marterer to reach the semifinals.
Like Kecmanovic, he may not be entirely happy with the level of tennis he delivered there. But his 4-6 6-3 7-6 win over former-Rio Open champion Laslo Djere was more than creditable, despite Hanfmann making hard work of the decider, throwing an early break before managing to win it in a tiebreak. And the final seems likely to be another closely contested affair, with the two men looking to be fairly evenly matched on paper.
Kecmanovic will surely back himself to get the better of the German in the longer rallies, but Hanfmann has shown this week that he can stay with solid baselines in extended exchanges from the back of the court, whilst also possessing the power to step in and hit winners. But he has not yet faced a mover of Kecmanovic’s quality, with the Serbian able to withstand heavy pressure from opponents. If he can post good numbers on serve, expect Kecmanovic to lift his first ATP title
Prediction: Kecmanovic in 3
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