Botic van de Zandschulp tricked out second seed Casper Ruud on Friday to reach the semi-finals of the BMW Open by American Express. After a tight first set, the eighth-seeded Dutchman cruised past the seven-time ATP Tour champion 7-5, 6-1 to reach the quarterfinals in Munich.
"Maybe scoring is easier than it really was," van de Zandschulp said in his on-court interview. "The first set [was] really tight, I think. A great battle in the first. I had a few chances to break it early on. I didn't take advantage of it.
he held serve at 6-5. "[The] second set was a bit easier, but I think I played very well today." Ruud does well to control the game from his running backhand corner and hitting hard forehands, but he couldn't constantly bother van de Zandschulp.
The 26-year-old saved the only break point he faced and won 50 per cent of his first serve return points to triumph after one hour and 34 minutes. The eighth seed, who also defeated Ruud at last year's US Open en route to the quarter-finals, will now play Miomir Kecmanovic.
The Serb continued his strong start to the season with a 7-6(5), 6-2 victory against fourth seed Nikoloz Basilashvili. Less than a month ago, Kecmanovic defeated van de Zandschulp 7-6(3), 7-5 at the BNP Paribas Open on the hard courts of Indian Wells.
That was their first ATP Head2Head clash. "It wasn't clay, it was a pretty close score," van de Zandschulp said. Roger Federer defeated Kavcic in their only professional meeting in the second round of the Australian Open in 2014.
Kavcic comments on Roger Federer
Former Slovenian tennis player Blaz Kavcic recently recalled a practice match he played against former World No. 1 Roger Federer. In an interview with Sport Klub, Kavcic revealed that he beat the Swiss in a one-off practice set.
"He approached me and said, 'We switch for fifteen minutes and then we play, but only one set.' I beat him 7: 5 and of course he wanted a rematch, he routinely beat me 6: 3 in the second. We laughed well when he recognized my coach Blaž Trupej.
I remember you, ha-ha. They played against each other in Domžale in 1999, Federer wanted to continue the next day because of the darkness, but Trupej said he couldn't because he had a tennis lesson in the morning," Kavcic said.
Roger Federer has often called Dubai his second home and practices there during the off-season. "They make an identical surface there as in Melbourne Park, just for him. They even asked him what the temperature and humidity were at the Hisense Arena that year when we were training. He is an icon wherever he goes," Kavcic added.