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Philipp Kohlschreiber vs Florian Mayer ATP Hamburg Preview, Predictions and Live Stream: Kohlschreiber and Mayer meet in all-German semi-final

Leye Aduloju in ATP Tour 29 Jul 2017
  • Philipp Kohlschreiber vs Florian Mayer is live from Hamburg on Saturday, 29 July from 3:00pm local time/ 2:00pm
  • Kohlschreiber leads the head-to-head 3-1

Philip Kohlschreiber and Florian Mayer meet in an all-German semi-final at the German Tennis Championships in Hamburg on Saturday, with the winner becoming the first home finalist at the event since Tommy Haas in 2012.

Kohlschreiber and Mayer- the last two Germans left in the draw- are looking to become the first home champion since current tournament director, Michael Stitch won the title in 1993. Since then, the only other German to make the final was Haas, who lost to Argentine, Juan Monaco in the 2012 title match. Co-incidentally, whoever wins Saturday’s semi-final will also take on an Argentine in the final, with Federico Delbonis and Leonardo Mayer facing off in Saturday’s other semi-final.

Kohlschreiber has traditionally done well on home soil. He has won five of his seven career titles in Germany, while he has reached five other finals in his native country. Can he add the Hamburg final to his long list?

The 33-year-old has come through a fairly difficult route to take his place in this year’s semi-final, opening with a very impressive 6-3 6-1 victory over Russian youngster, Andrey Rublev, who was coming off a first career title in Umag. Kohlschreiber then took down French fifth seed, Gilles Simon in three sets in the second round, before edging Argentina’s Nicolas Kicker, also in three sets in Friday’s quarter finals. The world number 58 flew out of the blocks, racing off to a 4-0 lead over Kicker, but the home favourite surrendered that advantage, twice failing to serve out the set, and was eventually pushed to a tie break. Kohlschreiber just about held his nerve to take the breaker 8-6. 

Kicker had been in good form in Hamburg, boasting victories over Haas and Benoit Paire, and he wasn’t going to fall away without a fight. The Argentine broke late to take the second set, setting the stage for a roller coaster decider. Both men had their chances, but it was Kohlschreiber who broke in the tenth game to advance to his second Hamburg semi-final in four years.

The German is into his second semi-final of the season, backing up his run in Marakkech earlier in the year. Then, he advanced to the final, only to squander five match points in a painful loss to Borna Coric. Apart from that Marrakech run, he made quarter finals in Sydney, Dubai (the famous quarter final where he missed seven match points against Andy Murray) and Stuttgart. 

"I really enjoy playing on my home field. The kind of pressure that I have to perform well, I like it. It helps lift my game."

To reach his second final of the season, Kohlschreiber must take down compatriot, Florian Mayer on Saturday. Since his return from injury in April last year, Mayer’s best results on the tour have been on home soil- specifically on grass, which has been his most productive surface over the years. Mayer reached the quarter finals in Stuttgart on 2016, having risen through the qualifiers, before capturing his biggest career title in a fairytale run in Halle that featured victories over Dominic Thiem and Alexander Zverev. He could not quite replicate that form on the clay of Hamburg as he was beaten by Pablo Cuevas in the opening round.

Outside his runs on German grass, Mayer did not do anything of note for the remainder of the year, and the narrative remained the same in the opening months of 2017. The 33-year-old had a forgettable start to the year, losing his first seven matches of the season. He finally won a round each in Madrid and Rome, but it wasn’t until his return to grass that he picked up consecutive victories for the first time this year. Mayer reached the quarter finals in Halle, beating Benoit Paire and Lucas Pouille before falling to Roger Federer. That had been the only bright spot in his season until this fine run in Hamburg.
He opened with a straight sets dispatch of capable Italian, Marco Cecchinato, before taking down Andrey Kuznetsov, who had been playing some decent tennis in recent weeks, in three sets in the second round. Mayer kept it going with another impressive win over Argentine clay-head, Diego Schwartzman in the quarter finals. He broke twice to take the opening set, but Schwartzman returned the favour with two unanswered breaks of his own in the second set. The final set was a see-saw affair, but Mayer was always ahead in the score, and just about did enough to complete a 6-2 3-6 6-3 victory after an hour and 45 minutes.

Kohlschreiber has a 3-1 lead over his compatriot in the head-to-head, but they have split their two meetings on clay. They haven’t played each other a lot in recent times, with last year’s Munich meeting being their first encounter since 2010.

Despite their even standing in clay-court meetings, Kohlschreiber has the greater pedigree on clay, and has generally played the better and more consistent tennis this year. Mayer will pull off some of his backhand tricks, but Kohlschreiber should advance to a final against either Mayer (Leonardo of that ilk) or Delbonis.

Philipp Kohlschreiber vs Florian Mayer is live from Hamburg on Saturday, 29 July from 3:00pm local time/ 2:00pm

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Philipp Kohlschreiber vs Florian Mayer ATP Hamburg Preview, Predictions and Live Stream: Kohlschreiber and Mayer meet in all-German semi-final

Philipp Kohlschreiber and Florian Mayer meet in the Hamburg semi-finals. Which German will advance to Sunday's final? Read our preview, predictions and stream the match live online.

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