Yannick Hanfmann advanced to his first ATP Tour final in three years on Saturday, beating Laslo Djere 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(5) at the Generali Open in Kitzbühel.
The 28-year-old held two match points at 5-4 in the third set, before eventually converting his third match point in a final-set tie-break with a backhand return winner. Hanfmann won 63 per cent of second-serve return points (30/48) to advance after two hours and 25 minutes.
”I didn’t feel so good [after the first match points]. At that level, if you miss those chances you can lose the match right away,” said Hanfmann. “I was happy that I had chances to go back up 6-5 and break him. I didn’t make that, so it was a tough few minutes for me to really get settled again.
”In the tie-break, I had a pretty clear mind. I was just trying to play point-by-point… really go for my game and that is what I did. It is fitting that I finished it with a backhand return winner.”
Hanfmann entered the tournament seeking his first ATP Tour victory since the 2018 BMW Open by FWU in Munich, but the World No. 118 has now won six straight matches from qualifying to reach his second tour-level championship match. At the 2017 Swiss Open Gstaad, Hanfmann reached his maiden ATP Tour final from qualifying before falling in straight sets to Fabio Fognini.
Aiming to become the first qualifier to lift an ATP Tour crown since Daniil Medvedev’s 2018 triumph at the Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships, Hanfmann will face Miomir Kecmanovic or fellow qualifier Marc-Andrea Huesler for the trophy. Hanfmann has not met either player at tour-level.
”Huesler is a lefty and he is playing really well this week. He has got a big game like me and he has really gone for it this week and got some good wins. That is important for him and he probably feels like nobody can beat him,” said Hanfmann.
”I know [Kecmanovic] is really good. He is really young and he is going to be one of the guys to look out for in the next few years… I think I have good chances against both. I don’t have any preference right now. I am just looking forward to the final.”