Tiafoe Triumphs At Boss Open Stuttgart

Frances Tiafoe (photo: Paul Zimmer/Sportfoto Zimmer)

STUTTGART, June 18, 2023

Frances Tiafoe is the champion of the 2023 BOSS Open. The No. 3 seed of the ATP 250 grass-court event in Stuttgart battled past home favourite Jan-Lennard Struff 4-6, 7-6(1), 7-6(8) in an exciting singles final on Sunday.

On another sunny day and in front of a sold-out crowd at the Tennis Club Weissenhof, Tiafoe needed to save a championship point at 6-7 in a dramatic third-set tie-break to seal victory in two hours and nine minutes.

I got super lucky there on match point. I still don’t know how I hauled it over the net but I’ll take it,” Tiafoe said.

By winning his third ATP Tour career title, his first on grass and second of the season after Houston, Tiafoe pocketed €109,270 in prize money as well as 250 ATP Ranking point.

The 25-year-old Maryland native will rise to World No. 10 on Monday, becoming the third African-American man to rank in the Top 10 since the inception of the ATP rankings in 1973, joining Arthur Ashe (debuted on August 23, 1973) and James Blake (debuted on March 20, 2006). Tiafoe will join No. 8 Taylor Fritz as US-Americans in the Top 10 — the first time two American men will be ranked in the Top 10 since the week of May 7, 2012 (No. 9 Mardy Fish, No. 10 John Isner).

Struff was seeking his maiden title on the ATP Tour. The 33-year-old Warstein native finished runner-up to Carlos Alcaraz at the Mutua Madrid Open last month and lost the 2021 final in Munich to Nikoloz Basilashvili.

“It was an unbelievable match and everything you could wish for as a spectator,” said Struff. “It’s brutal to lose a match like that. I can’t blame myself much, left my heart on the court, unfortunately it was broken at the end. He saved my match point well. In hindsight, you think maybe you could have taken more risks.”

Mektic/Pavic triumph in doubles

Earlier in the day, Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic of Croatia captured the doubles title. The No. 2 seeds from Croatia defeated fourth-seeded Germans Kevin Krawietz and Tim Puetz 7-6(2), 6-3 in one hour and 19 minutes. Mektic and Pavic, who first teamed up at 2017 Hamburg lifted their 16th tour-level trophy. The duo split €37,960 in prize money and earned 250 ATP Doubles Ranking points.

“It feels really good,” said Mektic. “We’ve been having a really rough year compared to the previous two so this feels really good. Really something that we needed, I think.”

“I love the tournament, it’s nice and they do a great job,” said Pavic, who earned his second consecutive Stuttgart doubles title after winning the 2022 edition alongside Hubert Hurkacz and has become the first player to defend the Weissenhof title since Colin Dowdeswell and Frew McMillan.

“In general I love to play on grass and we just keep lifting the titles on grass. It must be something that we like about it, and we’re happy to win the tournament, win some matches and get back on track.”

More than 48,000 spectators at the Weissenhof

Although Alexander Zverev was forced to withdraw from the tournament and big names like defending champion and BOSS ambassador Matteo Berrettini or Australia’s enfant terrible Nick Kyrgios fell in an early stage of the tournament, 48,300 spectators flocked to the Tennis Club Weissenhof over the nine days. The final weekend was sold out.

“Struffi fascinated the fans this week and Frances Tiafoe is one of the most charismatic players on the tour. It paid off that the field of participants had such a high level of quality this year,” tournament director Edwin Weindorfer said.