Altmaier Takes Maiden Challenger Crown In Braunschweig

Daniel Altmaier (photo: Debbie Jayne Kinsey)

BRAUNSCHWEIG, July 10, 2021

Home favourite Daniel Altmaier clinched his maiden trophy on the ATP Challenger Tour by winning the €66,640 Sparkassen Open in Braunschweig. On a busy Saturday in Northern Germany, the No. 8 seed successfully completed double duty, winning over compatriot Marvin Möller in the semi-finals before he defeated fifth seed Henri Laaksonen from Switzerland 6-1, 6-2 in the championship match.

Altmaier edged out Zdenek Kolar from the Czech Republic, Mario Vilella Martinez of Spain and Elias Ymer from Sweden en route to the stage of the last four. The semi-finals had to be rescheduled after a washout in Braunschweig on Friday.

The 22-year-old Kempen native struck nine aces in the title match, saved both break points he faced and capitalized on four of his own seven break-point opportunities to seal victory in just under one hour of play.

“Of course I am happy. Nobody can take this first victory at ATP Challenger level away from me. I will remember it until the end of my life and it is especially nice that it happened here in Braunschweig,” Altmaier said and added that it has been a tough year for him so far. After a COVID-19 infection and a following quarantine, the German also suffered from a shoulder injury, which sidelined him from the court for two months.

“In the past few weeks I have noticed that I have improved a lot, but the results were missing. Now the journey can really start.”

By lifting the trophy, Altmaier pocketed €9,200 in prize money as well as 90 ATP Ranking points. The World No. 166 will stay in his home country competing in the Hamburg European Open next week. Altmaier was granted a wild card into the main draw and he will face No. 6 seed Filip Krajinovic of Serbia in the first round at the Rothenbaum tournament.

Walkow/Zielinski prevail in doubles

In other action, Szymon Walkow and Jan Zielinski from Poland captured the doubles title. The tandem upset top seeded siblings Ivan and Matej Sabanov from Croatia 6-4, 4-6, 10-4. The final lasted one hour and 36 minutes.

Walkow and Zielinski captured their second team title on the ATP Challenger Tour after winning the Split Open in April. The duo split €3,950 in prize money as well as 90 ATP Doubles Ranking points.