ISMANING, November 4, 2023
Antoine Bellier continued his excellent run of form this week at the Wolffkran Open by Tannenhof, reaching the final of the ATP Challenger Tour 75 event held on carpet. The 27-year-old Swiss qualifier defeated Rudolf Molleker of Germany 7-6(5), 6-2 in Ismaning on Saturday.
Bellier fired 19 aces, didn’t face a break point and capitalized on both of his own two break-point opportunities to prevail after 57 minutes.
“It was tough. We both served well and there was no rhyhm in this match. To win the first set helped me in the second,” Bellier said. “I like to play on this surface. Unfortunately there are not that many events on carpet on the tour.”
The World No. 328 captured one ITF Pro Circuit title on carpet in Sarreguemines, France four years ago, but celebrated his first triumph on the ATP Challenger Tour on clay by lifting the trophy at the San Luis Open in Mexico earlier this season. “It was a tournament held in special conditions at 1,800 metres altitude. So, I wasn’t too surprised but I also came from the qualifying to win the title.”
Bellier will play No. 2 seed Maximilian Marterer in Sunday’s championship match. The 105th-ranked German edged past Lukas Klein from Slovakia 6-4, 6-4. Marterer withstood 12 aces and broke his rival’s serve two times to succeed in one hour and 12 minutes.
“I served well again and stayed calm throughout the match. Patience is key on carpet. You need to wait for your chances and that’s what I did very well today,” said Marterer, who is bidding for his ninth ATP Challenger career title on Sunday.
Balaji/Begemann triumph in doubles
Later in the afternoon, N. Srirar Balaji from India and Andre Begemann of Germany claimed the doubles title. The pair beat second-seeded Germans Constantin Frantzen and Hendrik Jebens 7-6(4), 6-4 in one hour and 28 minutes.
By winning their second team title after Bratislava, Slovakia, Balaji and Begeman split €4,250 in prize money and earned 75 ATP Doubles Ranking points. Begemann captured his third doubles title in Ismaning after 2020 and 2021, his 31st ATP Challenger doubles title overall.
“I’m just overwhelmed and wouldn’t have believed it possible to come back so quickly with two titles before my comeback. It’s just so much fun to play here because everyone involved in the tournament puts their heart and soul into this event,” said Begemann.
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