Holger Rune wins his 4th career's title after defeating Botic Van De Zandschulp in a stunning final match of ATP 250 tournament in Munich. Rune defended 4 matchpoints during the opponent's serve in deciding set to come back with a score and defend the title in a place, where grabbed his maiden ATP tournament's victory last year.
The world's number 7 approached the final after yesterday's routine win over Christopher Oconnell, defeating the Aussie 6-3 6-2 in just 80 minutes. The final appearance of Van De Zandschulp was quite a surprise, as he made an upset on tournament's second seed, Taylor Fritz. Van De Zandschulp surprisingly defeated the top ranked American in straight sets, winning 6-4 7-6(2) and advanced into the Munich's final for the second time in a row.
Today's clash was a re-match between Rune and Van De Zandschulp, as they both appeared in the final of Munich's tournament last year. The re-match can be exaggeration though, as last year's final has ended up just after 7 games, when the Dutch needed to pull out due to an injury. Both players were approaching this year's final clash from quite a different positions, especially Rune, who entered the top 50 for the first time in career last year due to win in Munich. This time, the Dane is a top 10 player and top seed of this tournament, being also a pre-match favorite before today's final. The match started as expected with Rune taking the opening set with a score 6-4. It not went straightforward for the Dane though, as second set was quite a slump on his side and Van De Zandschulp fought back with an impressive performance, winning this set 6-1.
The deciding set will be surely something to forget as quick as possible for the Dutch, who followed the blow and extended his great momentum from second set, moving into comfortable 5-2 lead with a double break advantage. The upset was surely in the air, and it was also imminent when Van De Zandschulp was 40-15 up in 8th game during his own service game. Rune came out of nowhere by winning 4 points in a row and making up the half of deficit so far. Another chance to serve for the match also failed for the Dutch, who needed to defend 4 breakpoints, but did not manage to save the last one and Rune was on level again. Despite losing the momentum, Van De Zandschulp managed to regain his advantage in 11th game, gaining another chance to close this match within own serve. And this time it could also be no closer, as he was *6-5 40-15 up, losing 4 points in a row and wasting another two matchpoints within own serve. Rune capitalized on the miracle comeback which he made and gave no chances for his opponent in the tiebreak, winning it 7-3 and whole the match 6-4 1-6 7-6(3).
"I was feeling really exhausted but I was fighting until the end and I tried everything I could to come back into the match. I think for the crowd it was the perfect final. We really pushed each other to the limit and I am super happy I defended the title today." - said the Dane, who defended his title in such an unexpected and unusual circumstances.
Here are the final's highlights: