The 19-year-old Holger Rune claimed his fourth ATP title and the first of the season. Holger defended his Munich Open crown following a thrilling 6-4, 1-6, 7-6 victory over Botic Van De Zandschulp in two hours and 52 minutes.
Rune came from 5-2 down in the decider and fended off four match points in games eight and 12 and outplayed the opponent in the tie break to lift the trophy in his last ATP tournament before turning 20. The Dane struggled with the pain in his ankle and shoulder.
However, he climbed back from the verge of defeat to defend his title and gain a boost ahead of the Madrid Masters. Van De Zandschulp took seven points more than Rune thanks to the second set. He had a double break lead and serve for the victory three times, only to experience breaks and keep the rival in contention.
The Dutch player defended nine out of 14 break points, serving well until those crucial moments when his initial shot crumbled under pressure.
Holger Rune saved four match points vs. Van De Zandschulp in the Munich final.
Holger got broken five times in sets two and three and still found a way to emerge at the top and secure his fourth ATP crown at 19.
Botic squandered game points in the encounter's first game and lost serve after a loose backhand. Rune experienced a break in game four but earned another at 3-3 to move in front. Holger denied a break point with a service winner in game eight and squandered a set point on the return in the next one.
The Dane served for the opener at 5-4 and wrapped it up with a service winner after 51 minutes. Van De Zandschulp was the only player on the court in the second set, barely losing a point and keeping the pressure on the other side.
Holger lost serve in the fourth game, struggling and netting a drop shot at 1-4 to fall further behind. Van De Zandschulp held at 15 in game seven to wrap up the set and introduce a decider. Botic grabbed his third consecutive break at the start of the final set and fended off two break points at 2-1 to remain in front.
Holger struggled with the pain in his shoulder and netted a routine backhand in game seven to propel the rival 5-2 in front. Van De Zandschulp served for the victory in game eight and created two match points. He squandered them and lost serve after a loose backhand.
Rune held in game nine and returned to stay in the match at 4-5. The Dane injured his ankle and received a medical timeout. The young gun kept fighting and converted the fourth break chance with a smash winner for 5-5. Rune lost serve again in game 11, and Van De Zandschulp served for the victory for the third time at 6-5.
The Dutch player earned two more match points and wasted them to stay away from the trophy. Rune broke back after the rival's double fault to introduce a tie break and become the favorite. Rune won all five points behind the initial shot in the breaker, and Van De Zandschulp failed to follow that pace.
Holger won a point at 5-3 for three match points and cracked a backhand down the line winner on the first to wrap up an incredible comeback and defend the title.
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