Garin Upsets Zverev To Reach BMW Open Semi-Finals

Cristian Garin (photo: Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)

MUNICH, April 19, 2024

Friday’s quarterfinals at the BMW Open were headlined by Cristian Garin of Chile, who knocked out top seed and home favourite Alexander Zverev, 6-4, 6-4.

In a match between two former Munich champions, Garin withstood the windy and wet conditions on a sold-out Center Court with a solid game. The 27-year-old Santiago native saved both break points he faced and won 76 per cent of his second-service points.

In a crucial fifth game of the second set, which contained a couple of entertaining rallies in which Zverev tried a lot of different things including an underarm serve, Garin had all the answers and gained the decisive break. The World No. 106 eventually secured victory in exactly two hours of play.

Another victory against Zverev

“Conditions were difficult today but I just tried to play my game and did this very well. The key was to stay focused in every game, not to get distracted by the wind or the rain. I was aggressive and fought for every point,” said Garin, who also beat Zverev en route to his BMW Open triumph five years ago.

“I know Sascha pretty well since juniors. We played in Rome a year and a half ago and he won. He wasn’t happy with the conditions today and I took the advantage of that. My level of tennis is increasing every day. I don’t have any pain and I feel comfortable on the court again. My team and my family helped me through difficult times,” said Garin, who had to deal with back and abdominal issues as well as a broken rib last season. He gained some confidence back by reaching the semi-finals of the Estoril Open in Portugal two weeks ago.

Garin – a regular guest in Munich

Despite the big challenges for the players at the MTTC Iphitos, Garin has returned to Munich for the fourth time.

“It’s always tough in Munich, as we we have to face changeable weather, even snow. There are some sunny days and then it becomes cold again,” the South American explained. “But I like the tournament. The people are nice and I feel comfortable here. That’s why I return year after year. The matches are held in the afternoon. I spend a lot of time in the club but we also go out. The city is beautiful, the food is excellent. I am enjoying my time here.”

Zverev without weapons in chilly Munich

Following two defeats in his opening matches in the past two years, Zverev suffered another early exit in Munich and made a clear statement afterwards. “It’s impossible for me to win the tournament in these conditions,” the World No. 5 said.

“The event was previously held in May, now in April. That makes a big difference. I don’t have any weapons in these low temperatures and on this surface. I normally gain a lot of free points with my serve and my backhand puts a lot of pressure on my opponents. This power on the court is being taken away from me. I tried everything but it’s difficult and Cristian also played well.”

Fritz fires past Draper

Garin will next take on Taylor Fritz. The third-seeded US-American edged past No. 6 seed Jack Draper from Great Britain 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(1). Fritz fired 18 aces and won 80 per cent of his first-service points to prevail after two hours and 15 minutes.

“It’s tough, as it’s really cold, but I got used to it after playing yesterday. Today it was also windy but I am glad to go through,” said Fritz, who advanced to his 28th ATP Tour semi-final.

“My level is where it’s needs to be from near the Top 10. I had some matches not going my way in the beginning of the year. I played a bad match in Miami and a bad match in Monte-Carlo but throughout the period of time I have been practicing well. I had two bad days, which unfortunately occurred on my match days. I feel like the level is there. I just need to stay positive and motivated and a good run at tournaments will come up for sure.”

Fritz, who captured his seventh ATP Tour career title by successfully defending his Delray Beach Open crown in February, made a late entry to the BMW Open by using a particular spot reserved in each ATP 250 tournament for players with a ranking better than in the original tournament entry list.

“I actually had in my mind that I was going to play. After losing early in Miami I felt that I had a lot of time to be home. So, after playing Monte-Carlo, I didn’t want to go back after only one week. I knew that I could make the decision later on because of the rule,” said Fritz, who wants to finish the ATP Race to Turin inside the Top 10. The California native also mentioned that he far prefers the red clay of Europe over the green clay of the US.

“I like it. I played a lot on green clay and I hated it. It’s slower, dirtier, more slippery and really tough to play on. I was happy when I came to play in Europe for the first time. It’s so much better but playing on clay is different every single week.”

Rune stays perfect in Munich

Later Friday, No. 2 seed Holger Rune defeated Swiss qualifier Marc-Andrea Huesler 6-4, 7-6(3). The 20-year-old from Denmark needed only one break to succeed in one hour and 41 minutes.

The two-time defending BMW Open champion maintains his unbeaten streak in Munich and will next take on either No. 4 seed Jan-Lennard Struff or fifth favourite Felix Auger-Aliassime. Their match was suspended with the German leading 7-5, 3-1 due to darkness and will resume on Saturday.