By Florian Heer
(July 19, 2014) HAMBURG – The 48-man draw in Hamburg has been whittled down to just four players, who stepped into action on Saturday for the semi-finals.
In the highly expected match of the day top-seed David Ferrer took on talented youngster Alexander Zverev, who is enjoying a breakthrough week in his home city. The 17-year-old German has already become the youngest player ever to reach the semi-final at an ATP 500 event but the world No. 7 was too strong in this match. Most of the longer rallies went in favour for Ferrer and Zverev was only able to win 50% of his first service points. The 32-year-old Spaniard served the match out in only 55 minutes winning 6-0, 6-1 and booked his place for his second final of season after he had taken the title in Buenos Aires.
“Today I played point by point and remained focused on my serve. When I won the third game of the second set, Alex lost a bit of his focus. He played a lot of matches this week. Maybe he was also a bit tired. Nonetheless, he will have a very good future. He has a very good service and plays in a pretty intelligent way,” Ferrer said.
“With every day more here in Hamburg, I gained more confidence with my game. In the first two matches this week, I only played well in some moments but yesterday and today I was more consistent,” said the Spaniard about his game.
“Taking on Leonardo will be tough for sure. He is playing a good week with a lot of confidence, even maybe his best tennis ever. I try to do my best in tomorrow’s final.”
“It was a great experience taking on a top ten player but David was simply too good for me today” Zverev said. “Nonetheless, I’m still proud that I reached the semis in Hamburg. I’m only 17, so I don’t think it is a shame to be within the last four at an ATP 500 event.”
The teen, who already knew that he will crack the top 200 with a place around 160 on Monday in the ATP World Tour rankings, said: “I hope that I can hold this level for Umag next week. So there won’t be a lot of time to celebrate, as I will fly to Croatia tomorrow for practice sessions in the evening,” the German teenager revealed.
Seventh-seeded Philipp Kohlschreiber went up against an in-form Leonardo Mayer in the first match of the day. Before Saturday’s match, the German had not been able to gain a single set against the man from Buenos Aires in two previous meetings and the match in Hamburg should not become an exception. Kohlschreiber lost his serve four times and two of the breaks he suffered took place at unpleasant moments for the German. The first occurred on set point in the twelfth game of the opening frame and the other one on match point in the tenth of the second set. After one hour and 28 minutes, Mayer sealed victory winning 7-5, 6-4 to advance into his second final of the year after Viňa del Mar in February but his first on ATP 500 level.
Consequently, the winner was in a good mood afterwards. “I’m satisfied with my performance today. My service worked very well and I played the points very fast. I’m very happy to reach the final here tomorrow, which will be a nice thing but also a difficult match,” Mayer said. “I beat Philipp two times before, so I knew how to play against him. It was also the revenge for the World Cup final Argentina versus Germany,” the Hamburg finalist laughed.
“Of course I’m disappointed that I couldn’t make it into the final today,” Kohlschreiber said. I tried everything but sometimes I just made the wrong decision. Leonardo made it very difficult for me to get into the match. He was very dominant on court today and it was very hard for me to read his service and his game in general. He put a lot of variety in his second service, which was well placed and with good speed. I think that this gave him the necessary confidence for his return games.”
“Nonetheless, I played a good tournament with some great matches and now I take a rest and in two weeks’ time I will play my last clay court tournament in Kitzbühel,” the 30-year-old German said about his future schedule.
Florian Heer travels the tennis tour with a focus on ATP Challenger events and the ITF Future Circuit! Follow his twitter account @Florian _Heer.
Results for July 19, 2014
Singles – Semi-finals
 [WC] D Ferrer (ESP) d [WC] A Zverev (GER) 60 61
L Mayer (ARG) d  P Kohlschreiber (GER) 75 64
Doubles – Semi-finals
M Draganja (CRO) / F Mergea (ROU) d  J Murray (GBR) / J Peers (AUS) 61 63
SCHEDULE – SUNDAY, 20 JULY 2014
CENTER COURT start 12:30 pm
 A Peya (AUT) / B Soares (BRA) vs M Draganja (CRO) / F Mergea (ROU)
Not Before 15:00
 [WC] D Ferrer (ESP) vs L Mayer (ARG)