ATP 250 event in Kitzbuhel is the first clay-court event of the season, with the coronavirus turning the calendar upside down. Fabio Fognini and Diego Schwartzman were the top seeds but failed to make an impression, propelling three qualifiers into the quarter-final for the first time at the ATP event.
Three of those reached the semis, followed by the young Serb Miomir Kecmanovic, another title contender. Miomir will fight for the first ATP title following a 6-2, 5-7, 6-3 triumph over Marc-Andrea Huesler in two hours and 19 minutes.
The Swiss ranked outside the top-300 gave his best to stay in touch with a better-ranked rival, taking the second set before losing steam in the second part of the decider to propel Miomir through. Serving at 39% and hitting 16 double faults, Kecmanovic managed to survive the challenges on serve and fend off four out of seven break chances, creating 18 opportunities on the return and converting five to cross the finish line first.
Miomir held after deuce in the first game and grabbed a break when Huesler sent a backhand long a few minutes later. Kecmanovic saved a break point with an ace in the fifth game, spraying a forehand error in the next one that could have sent him further in front before closing the opener with a return winner at 5-2.
They traded breaks at the start of the second set, with the Swiss fending off five break chances in the fourth game to stay alive. After four rock-solid service games, Miomir lost ground at 5-5, hitting a double fault to suffer a break and allowing a left-hander to clinch the set with a forehand winner in game 12.
Marc-Andrea fought off four break points in the decider's second game, earning a break at 1-1 when Kecmanovic netted a backhand. The Serb pulled the break back straight away, converting the third chance when Huesler netted a backhand slice and forcing an error from the opponent to open a 3-2 gap.
Miomir Kecmanovic and Yannick Hanfmann both seek the first ATP title.
The youngster grabbed a crucial break in game six following a massive backhand error from the Swiss, moving over the top with a service winner in game nine to book the place in the second ATP final.
Competing in his first ATP tournament since Hamburg 2019 and with no ATP wins under his belt since Munich 2018, Yannick Hanfmann qualified for the main draw and advanced into the second ATP final after Gstaad 2017. Yannick ousted another qualifier Laslo Djere 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 in two hours and 25 minutes, creating more chances on the return and crossing the finish line in the deciding tie break.
Djere won the opener with breaks in games one and five, sealing the set with a hold at love at 5-4. Raising his level, Hanfmann lost seven points in five service games of the second set, stealing Djere's serve in the fourth game and landing a volley winner at 5-3 to force a decider.
There, the German led 3-2 and 5-4 with a break on his side, wasting two match points on serve in game ten before Laslo broke back to extend the battle. The Serb survived three break points in the 11th game, reaching a tie break and losing it 7-5 following a return winner from Hanfmann in the 12th point.