Although this week has been about the rise of “Wunderkind” Alexander Zverev, the German wildcard who worked his way to the semi-final of the bet-at-home Open, David Ferrer was able to restore order in Hamburg and imposed his will as the top seed to overcome the 17-year-old and secure his spot in the final. His opponent is another surprise finalist in Leonardo Mayer, whom he has met just once before on the professional tour. Ferrer leads the head-to-head series 1-0, but that win came over two years ago on grass.
World No. 285 Zverev may have been the youngest player ever to compete in the semi-finals of an ATP World Tour 500 tournament after his big wins over the likes of fifth seed Mikhail Youzhny and No. 11 Santiago Giraldo, but world No. 7 David Ferrer instantly ended the momentum and snapped the young German’s win streak to hand him a 6-0-6-1 loss in less than an hour of court time. Ferrer played the match in fine form, as he won 84% of his first service points and saved both the break points he faced on serve. He converted 5 of 8 break point opportunities against Zverev to send the young wildcard home.
The second German semi-finalist in the draw faced similar luck in his early contest, as Philipp Kohlschreiber was ousted by Leonardo Mayer 7-5, 6-4 to send the Argentine into the final. Mayer hit 6 aces and converted 4 of 7 break points to defeat the German in 1 hour and 28 minutes. The world No. 46 is now through to his first ever ATP 500 final.
This marks just the second time these two competitors will meet on the ATP World Tour, with their last meeting taking place two years ago on grass. Ferrer won that encounter in comfortable straight sets and following his crushing semi-final victory, he will be looking for a similar squash match his final match of the week. While he should stand as a heavy favourite for this contest, it is not beyond the realm of possibility that Mayer will give Ferrer a tough battle. The Argentine has not dropped a single set en route to the final, while Ferrer dropped sets in his first two matches this week. Whether the Spaniard will avoid an upset on Sunday will be the compelling factor of the match.
Prediction: David Ferrer in Three Sets