ATP Munich Open Final Prediction – Nikoloz Basilashvili vs Jan-Lennard Struff

Jan-Lennard Struff in action at the ATP Munich Open.
Spread the love

After a long Saturday’s play with two of the quarter-finals being played in the morning due to rain yesterday, the final is set at the ATP Munich Open in Bavaria. It’s hard to say it’s the final everyone was expecting, but it looks set to provide plenty of entertainment with both players doubtless eager to get their hands on the trophy. But who will come out on top in Munich?

ATP Munich Open Final Prediction

Nikoloz Basilashvili vs Jan-Lennard Struff

Head-to-head: Basilashvili 3-3 Struff

Sometimes one runs out of words to describe Nikoloz Basilashvili. In the past, he has looked like one of the worst players in the top 50, including for much of 2019 and 2020. Indeed, last season he lost almost every match he played, enduring a dreadful run that included nine losses in a row with just three sets won. This year has been better, but still very hit and miss just like his style of play. After winning the title in Doha seemingly from nowhere, beating Roger Federer en route, he had lost five of his last seven matches when he arrived in Munich.

The Georgian managed just three games across his last two defeats (although one did come via retirement), but he has been a different proposition at the ATP Munich Open. This run, like his effort in Doha, has been a surprise, but he has played very well in getting past Thiago Monteiro, Daniel Elahi Galan, Norbert Gombos and Casper Ruud. His victory over the second-seeded Norwegian was particularly impressive, with Basilashvili dismissing the recent Monte Carlo semifinalist 6-1 6-2.

Across the net in the final will be the 31-year-old Jan-Lennard Struff. The German has finally broken his duck in ATP semifinals, having lost the previous seven that he had contested. He has had to work hard for his place in the final, but after winning a final-set tiebreak against Filip Krajinovic in the quarterfinals, a match many had expected him to lose, Struff found another gear to destroy Ilya Ivashka, the conqueror of Alexander Zverev, in the semifinals, losing just five games in a 6-4 6-1 rout.

This is without a doubt one of the biggest matches of Struff’s career and it will be interesting to see if he is affected by nerves. The seventh seed may well carve out more chances to win a title in the future, but he will surely be desperate to avoid ending his career like Julien Benneteau, with the Frenchman never managing to win a singles title despite an excellent career overall.

It may not be a surprise to see that their head-to-head is tied at 3-3, with four of those matches coming at ATP-level within the past two years. What is a surprise is to see that the German’s two victories on the main tour have been entirely routine, with Struff having scored a 6-1 6-0 win in Dubai and a 6-4 6-2 win at the ATP Paris Masters last season. That perhaps serves as further evidence of Basilashvili’s streakiness. But more important is their recent meeting on the clay in Cagliari.

Basilashvili edged Struff out that day, winning 7-5 4-6 6-3 in the quarterfinals. He looks to be in good position to record another victory. Simply put, when he is on form he is a better player than Struff. Both have big games and Struff is unquestionably the better server, but the German looks set to struggle in the baseline exchanges. His backhand remains a major weakness that Basilashvili will surely look to exploit. On a hard court, Struff might have a better chance, but on the clay it looks likely to be too much of an ask for him to consistently keep Basilashvili on the back foot.

Prediction: Basilashvili in 2

Main photo:
Embed from Getty Images