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By Tennis Now | Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Jan-Lennard Struff

World No. 45 Jan-Lennard Struff saved a set point surprising top-seeded Daniil Medvedev 7-6(6), 6-3 to thrill home fans in Halle.

Photo credit: Noventi Open

Daniil Medvedev's grass-court debut was one and done.

German Jan-Lennard Struff delivered one of the biggest victories of his career—and a happy homecoming—in Halle.

More: Federer Finds Flow in Halle

Struff rallied from 2-5 down and saved a set point upsetting world No. 2 Medvedev 7-6(6), 6-3 at the Noventi Open in Halle.

The 45th-ranked Struff, who upset seventh-ranked Andrey Rublev at Roland Garros en route to the French Open fourth round, lifted his level of play with Medvedev on the verge of a one-set lead. 

Facing a 2-5 deficit, Struff surged through 12 of 16 points to level.

The German No. 2 saved a set point serving at 5-6 to force the tie breaker. Struff knocked off a forehand volley to snatch a one-set lead.

An assertive Struff rolled to a 5-1 second-set lead. The 31-year-old German, who was runner-up in Munich on red clay last month, fired nine aces and saved four of six break points in a one hour, 33-minute victory. 

“This is the biggest win, rankings wise, of my career and to do it here on home soil is very special,” said Struff. “I live only an hour from here."

Struff reflected on the lost lead he suffered in his opening-set tie breaker vs. Diego Schwartzman at Roland Garros last week and was determined to prevent a replay in Halle.

“He served for the [opening] set at 6-5 and twice went for an ace on a second serve and I put returns in at 30-30 and 30-40," Struff said. "I then played a very good tie break and at 5-1 up in the second set, I thought about being up 5-1 last week [at Roland Garros] against Diego Schwartzman.

"I lost the set in the tie break, after having seven set points, so it was definitely in my head. It’s not something you can get out of your head easily.”

Next up for Struff is a round-of-16 clash vs. American qualifier Marcos Giron.

Felix Auger-Aliassime hit nine aces and saved both break points he faced topping Miami Open champion Hubert Hurkacz 6-3, 7-5, setting up a round-of-16 meeting with 10-time Halle champion Roger Federer, who defeated Belarusian qualifier Ilya Ivashka in his opener on Monday.

Tennis Express

The fourth-seeded Rublev did not face a break point prevailing in an all-Russian opener over Karen Khachanov 6-3, 7-6(5). Rublev will play Aussie Jordan Thompson for a quarterfinal spot.

Kei Nishikori conquered qualifier Ricardas Berankis 6-3, 2-6, 6-2 to set up a meeting with American Sebastian Korda next.


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