Nikoloz Basilashvili captured his fifth ATP Tour title on Sunday, completing the week at the BMW Open without dropping a set in five matches.
The fifth-seeded Georgian got off to a fast start and came through a 30-minute rain interruption en route to beating seventh seed Jan-Lennard Struff of Germany 6-4, 7-6(5) over 86 minutes in the Munich final.
“It wasn’t easy and I was super-tight at the end,” said Basilashvili. “It was very difficult. It’s never easy playing Jan, he’s a very big fighter and serves really well. I am super happy. It seems like German conditions suit me. This is my fifth [ATP Tour] title and it will give me confidence for the upcoming tournaments.”
Basilashvili, who was competing in his seventh tour-level final (5-2), captured the Qatar ExxonMobil Open crown (d. Bautista Agut) in March. He also recently beat Struff 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 in the Sardegna Open quarter-finals.
Basilashvili won eight of the first nine points against Struff, showcasing the kind of form that helped him beat second seed Casper Ruud in the semi-finals. Play was suspended due to rain with the Georgian leading 4-2, but Basilashvili returned to wrap up the 35-minute opener without a problem. Basilashvili lost just three service points.
In a competitive second set, Struff was unable to convert one break point in the sixth game. Both players served extremely well in the tie-break, which turned at 4/4 when Struff struck a backhand into the net. Basilashvili completed his 14th win of the season on his second championship point with a forehand winner. He is now 14-2 on German clay, which includes the 2018 and 2019 Hamburg European Open titles.
“It’s a very good boost and to win a lot of matches is very important for the upcoming tournaments,” said Basilashvili. “I was hungry to play well at this tournament…. I’m not looking for a coach right now, but I am travelling with a physio and a fitness coach.”
Struff, 31, was appearing in his first ATP Tour final and dropped to an 11-10 match record on the season.
“I am definitely disappointed not to have held the trophy here in Munich,” Struff told ATPTour.com. “It was a great week with an appearance in my first ATP Tour final and I hope I can continue this form. Nico played an amazing final today. I served as well as I could, I left a good level on the court today. With Madrid and Rome coming up, I hope I can do some damage there.”
He had been attempting to become the seventh different German champion at the ATP 250 tournament since 1968, following in the footsteps of Jurgen Fassbender (1974), Rolf Gehring (1980), Michael Stich (1994), Philipp Kohlschreiber (2007, ‘12, ‘16), Tommy Haas (2013) and Alexander Zverev (2017-18).