Florian Mayer reaches for Hamburg title – “I will leave my heart on the court”

It came as quite a big surprise to the 8000 spectators on the “Centre Court of the World”. Also Florian Mayer wondered: “I had just played the point and suddenly he shook my hand.” After Kohlschreiber won the first set in the semi-finals against “Flo” at 2-3 in the second set he had to retire. He had been having trouble with his right-thigh muscles since Friday and now it was the left side which prevented him from continuing. “During the last two, three rallies the pain really shot into my muscle. It was just too painful and there was no point continuing,” Kohlschreiber said disappointed.

One man’s sorrow is another man’s joy. Despite the year being disappointing so far, after his friend “Kohli” dropped out, Florian Mayer is fighting for his second ATP 500 title today. The player from Bayreuth had to wait until mid-May to capture his first victory. Therefore, his self-confidence was on an extremely low level. After he couldn’t repeat his triumph in Halle beginning of July he also dropped out of the Top 100 on the world ranking. Thanks to the 300 world ranking points he has secured by booking a ticket in the final at Rothenbaum he will be back in those spheres. But now, he wants more. He is playing for his third ATP title of his career. “It is probably the last time that I will be in the final here,” the 33-year old Mayer said about his premiere in the final in Hamburg. “Therefore, I will bend over backwards and leave my heart on the court.” He will encounter Leonardo Mayer who is walking the same path and Andrey Rublev.

Only last week, Rublev succeeded in winning the Umag ATP 250 tournament as the lucky loser. And only seven days later, Leonardo Mayer might repeat history or could even top it: The Argentinean is fighting for becoming the first lucky loser to win an ATP 500 event. And that despite everything actually being over last Sunday: Mayer had lost his qualification match against the German up-and-coming player Rudi Molleker. But the Argentinean got lucky. After last year’s winner Martin Klizan withdrew from the tournament he made it to the main draw.

However, it wasn’t luck, which brought the Argentinean this far. Since Monday, Mayer has been playing very strong clay court tennis. Due to his running efforts and his extreme top spin he wears out his opponents. So, caution “Flo”! And also on his service games the 30-year old player is currently very consistent and made more than 70 percent of the points after his first serve – also in the semi-final match against his fellow-countryman Federico Delbonis. In the duel between the two Davis Cup pals Mayer hardly had any problems. It took him 84 minutes for his 6-3, 7-5 success. “It is never easy to play against an Argentinean,” the first finalist said. “The nerves played an important role.” Mayer has already won the tournament in 2014 and still has “great memories”. Also this year he likes his chances to win the tournament. “The fans also cheer for me here in Germany even though I am not German. Tomorrow, there will surely be “Mayer” cheers from the fans but, of course, Hamburg is keeping its fingers crossed for “Flo” because he could become the first German Open winner since 1993. Back then, Michael Stich triumphed, who, as the tournament director, would love to give the trophy to Florian Mayer.

The doubles final will be played by the two top-seeded duos. Cuevas/Lopez, who are seeded number two beat Knowle/Marrero 6-4, 4-6, 10-4 on Saturday and on Friday Dodig/Pavic captured the victory against Peralta/Zeballos 7-5 and 6-0.