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By Richard Pagliaro | Saturday, May 1, 2021

Jan-Lennard Struff

After seven career semifinal setbacks, Jan-Lennard Struff raced into his first ATP final sweeping Ilya Ivashka 6-4, 6-1 to reach the Munich title match.

Photo credit: @BMWOpen2021

Clay-court success is often predicated on patience.

Jan-Lennard Struff was sick and tired of playing the waiting game and took appropriate action.

More: Tsitsipas Sets Sights on Top 3

After enduring seven career semifinal setbacks, Struff rolled through 12 of the last 14 games racing into his first ATP final with a 6-4, 6-1 sweep of Ilya Ivashka 6-4, 6-1 in today's Munich BMW Open semifinals.

It was an impressive performance from Struff, who smacked nine aces and saved five of six break points in a one hour, 26 minute victory.

The 44th-ranked German shed an ignominious label. Prior to today, Struff was the highest-ranked man yet to reach an ATP final.

The seventh-seeded Struff will play for his first ATP championship tomorrow against 
Nikoloz Basilashvili.

The fifth-seeded Basilashvili swept second-seeded Casper Ruud 6-1, 6-2 in today's second semifinal.

It was the second match of the day for both men as Basilashvili wrapped up a quarterfinal victory over lucky loser Norbert Gombos 6-4, 6-4. That quarterfinal began on Friday with Basilashvili up 5-4 when play was suspended.

The 31-year-old power player from Warstein, Germany is bidding to join 2016 champion Philipp Kohlschreiber and two-time champion Alexander Zverev as the fourth German champion in Munich in the last five years.

Struff's stubbornness and tenacity are two of his top assets. The 6'4" German lost in qualifying at 20 Tour-level events before qualifying for first time at the 2013 Roland Garros. Weeks later, Struff earned his first Tour-level win at the 2013 Wimbledon as a qualifier.

Tomorrow, he'll play for his first ATP title.


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