The upsets keep coming in Munich, and the tournament favorites are all out of the picture now. At the same time, home favorite Oscar Otte continues his quest for his first German title (and first overall). The matches are getting harder to pick, as three of the four semifinalists were not reasonably expected to be here. But as always we offer our best predictions for these interesting matches below.
ATP Munich Quarterfinals Predictions
Miomir Kecmanovic vs Botic van de Zandschulp
Head-to-head: Kecmanovic 1-0 van de Zandschulp
Both players are coming off dominating wins in the quarterfinals, with van de Zandschulp’s being highly impressive. The Dutchman dispatched tournament favorite Casper Ruud in straight sets, finishing him off 6-1 in the second. Kecmanovic’s victory over defending champion Nikoloz Basilashvili was comprehensive as well, showing impressive solidity in all phases of the game, though it is a little dampened by Basilashvili’s struggles this season. But it is no fluke, as the Serb has played well all season.
How do we read this match? Kecmanovic is having a bit of a breakout season, but he has hovered in the middle of the top 100 for over two years now. Van de Zandschulp is having a breakout twelve months, and has consistenly and steadily risen his whole career. The Serb has a more impressive resume in 2022, but the Dutchman has more momentum this tournament after the victory over Ruud. Kecmanovic owns the H2H, a win earlier this year at Indian Wells, but it was on hard court. Both are ranked within two places of each other.
Statistically, it’s a close call. The deciding factor for me is how well Kecmanovic has played since March. He hasn’t been asked to do a whole lot this tournament, but over the last couple months has excelled over top competition. In that same timeframe he beat van de Zandschulp, and I would expect the same result here. But the Dutchman can put up a fight, as we saw last round, especially since Kecmanovic is a similar player to Ruud.
Prediction: Kecmanovic in 3
Holger Rune vs Oscar Otte
Head-to-head: first meeting
Rune vs Otte would not have been a great match on paper at the start of this tournament, but Rune is playing out of his mind, and Otte appears to be fueled by the home crowd, and is playing very solidly. It should also be an interesting match given its clash of styles, as Rune is an energetic young attacker, and Otte a careful and defensive veteran.
Rune continues surprising. After an upset of world #3 Alexander Zverev, I predicted a letdown due to the possibility of youthful over-confidence that might stem from his career-best performance. But instead of over-confidence he gave us overdrive, and destroyed rising challenger Emil Ruusuvuori, 6-0 6-2. The young Dane has steamrolled to the semis in straight sets.
Otte’s strategy will be interesting to see. He played the Futures-level Marko Topo (#756) and the fairly inexperienced Alejandro Tabilo similarly, attacking their second serves while playing careful defensive rallies. The strategy appeared to be designed to overwhelm on the one hand, and on the other hand to force the most common of all mistakes for the inexperienced, which is to overplay boring rallies. He may employ a similar tactic here, and it will be interesting to see how the green but growing Dane responds.
Rune is a very serious-minded young tennis player with high aspirations, and his last two matches demonstrate his potential. He will have to be careful not to lose his head against a wily veteran with home court advantage, but I have to give him credit for mental fortitude after predicting a slip in that department last round. And while I’m impressed with Otte’s performance so far, and I think he could win this by presenting a strategy that frustrates Rune, it’s hard not to like what the Dane is showing at the moment.
Prediction: Rune in 3
Main Photo from Getty.