By Florian Heer
(January 19, 2014) Stammheim, Germany – Second stop on the ITF Future circuit in Germany was Stammheim, the northernmost district of Stuttgart. The township is characterised by an elegant residential area and the tournament, endowed with prize money of US-$ 10.000, is held at the federal tennis centre of Baden-Württemberg.
This year’s edition of the Südwestbank Cup offered an interesting entry list led by top-seed Bastian Knittel. The German, who lost the final in Schwieberdingen last week to Fabrice Martin became knocked out again by the Frenchman, however this time already in the opening round. Former world number 42, Gilles Muller, received a wild card but lost his second match against qualifier Dejan Katic. In the quarterfinal, Evgeny Korolev had to suffer a defeat against Nils Langer. The former world number 53 from Kazakhstan seemed to be injured but wasn’t looking for any excuses. “Nils played very well today and deserved to win,” Korolev said afterwards. Second-seed Marek Semjan had to retire in his opening round match against Peter Torebko. The German lost in quarterfinal against Karol Beck, who had his best ranking in 2005 at 36th position. One day later the Slovakian eliminated another local player in person of Nils Langer winning his semi-final match 7-5 4-6 7-5.
In Sunday’s final Karol Beck faced Uladzimir Ignatik, who defeated Martin in the semis in straight sets. Both players met three times before, all matches were played on the ITF Pro Tour, on carpet and the winner was as always the Belarussian. It would become an intense fight with a lot of emotions and tennis on a really good level. Beck took the first set by breaking serve in the tenth game after 45 minutes. In the second frame, it was the third-seeded Ignatik, who gained the break in the third game to win the set in the ninth. Both men played with a lot of variety in their shots and so it became an entertaining affair with a showdown in the tie-break after both had not been able to convert match points before. In the end it was the Belarussian, who sealed victory winning 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 after two hours and fifteen minutes. Ignatik won his 9th Future career title and was understandably happy afterwards. “We practice together and playing against Karol is always a rivalry,” the 23-year-old told us. “We know each other very well and Karol played a great match. Eventually it was all about the mental game and I also was a bit lucky today,” Ignatik analysed and was in a hurry to catch his train to the next tournament. “I will l play two more Futures in Germany, in Kaarst and Nussloch,” the winner from Stammheim said about his further schedule.
In the women’s final only 17-year-old unranked Julia Terzyiska met Kathinka von Deichmann. The Bulgarian teenager battled her way through the qualification to reach the final but eventually had to accept that the 19-year-old from Liechtenstein was the more solid player today winning 6-4, 6-4.
Florian Heer travels the tennis tour with a focus on ATP Challenger events and the ITF Future Circuit! Follow his twitter account @Florian_Heer.