The eighth-seeded Dutchman Botic van de Zandschulp secured his second consecutive victory over Norway’s Casper Ruud to reach the semi-finals of the BMW Open in Munich and was happy with his performance which saw him recover a tight opening set and then cruise through the second. .
[The] second set was a little bit easier, but I think I played really well today. Botic van de Zandschulp
“Maybe the score is easier than it really was,” the 26-year-old van de Zandschulp said in his on-court interview following the 7-5 6-1 victory claimed after 94-minutes.
“The first set [was] really tight, I think. A great battle in the first one. I had some opportunities to break him in the beginning. Didn’t take him. Gladly [at] 5-all I made the break and held the serve at 6-5.
“[The] second set was a little bit easier, but I think I played really well today.”
The eighth seed, who also defeated Ruud at last year’s US Open en route to the quarter-finals, will next play Serbia’s Miomir Kecmanovic who continued his strong start to the season with a 7-6(5) 6-2 win over the defending champion from Gertgia, the fourth seeded Nikoloz Basilashvili.
Less than a month ago, Kecmanovic defeated van de Zandschulp at the Indian Wells Masters in what was a very tight contest.
“It was not clay, it was a pretty close score,” van de Zandschulp remembered. “Looking forward to the match. I think he’s had a great season so far and he’s a great player. It’s going to be a good match.”
In the top half of the draw, the young Danish star Holger Rune celebrated his 19th birthday in style cruising past Finland’s Emil Ruusuvuori 6-0 6-2 in 62 minutes to reach his first Tour level semi-final.
“It was a very good match from the beginning until the end. I was staying very focussed like I did in my last round and the tactics again worked out perfectly. I was really focussed and really enjoyed my time out here on centre court,” Rune said. “It was just an amazing atmosphere and I really couldn’t ask for a better birthday.”
The teen saved all three break points he faced and won 57 per cent of his return points to back up his second-round upset of top seed Alexander Zverev. Next up will be another German Oscar Otte, who pleased his home fans with a 6-1 7-6(1) victory over Chilean Lucky Loser Alejandro Tabilo.
”I’m really excited for it. It’s going to be a great atmosphere again for sure,” Rune said. “He’s been playing some good tennis, enjoying himself, so I’m definitely excited for the challenge.”
Otte, like Rune, is into his maiden tour-level semi-final. Earlier in the week, the home favourite upset third seed Reilly Opelka.