An inspired Garín knocks down Zverev in Munich

The Chilean is looking for his sixth ATP Tour trophy this week

April 19, 2024

By Staff

If Cristian Garín is recovering his best version, evidence is beginning to accumulate on the clay of the BMW Open. The Chilean climbed this Friday to the semifinals of the ATP 250 in Munich, a humid and low-temperature setting where he wants to regain authority in the locker room. On fields that slow down the balls and force redoubled efforts, the South American’s tenacity continues to attract much of the attention.

The player from Santiago completed one of the feats of the week, knocking down the first seed Alexander Zverev 6-4, 6-4 to finish consolidating his candidacy for the throne. In a clash between former tournament champions, Garín exhibited his rebirth in the clay court season. The South American’s perseverance allowed him to achieve victory without giving up the serve and capturing 40% of the points from the rest, a feat within the reach of few against the German.

“The conditions have been complicated,” acknowledged Garín, who signed the fourth Top 10 victory of his career under a dense blanket of clouds. “I have tried to focus on playing my tennis and staying focused because it is not easy to play like that. Other than that, I’m happy with the way I’m playing this week. I have managed to fight for every point, be involved in the games on every ball and that is very important for me.”

A duel on clay against Zverev was a test without secrets for Garín, with the recipe of the match well etched in his retina. Some of the most brilliant pages of his career were produced with this canvas before his hands. The Chilean won the Roland Garros junior title, beating the German, whom he also defeated on the way to the Munich Cup in 2019, stopping two years of Alexander’s impeccable dominance in the tournament.

Garín’s triumph was, above all, a victory over the elements. In a week of intense cold in Bavaria, in front of a stand where down coats and raincoats are the norm, the Chilean exhibited a formidable capacity for concentration to not find an excuse in the environment. As happened five years ago, when he played the final of the tournament at 6 degrees of temperature, Cristian managed to close the match being the strongest on the court.

“Maybe this weather is good for my game, I’m not sure yet,” joked the Chilean, who in 2019 lifted the cup against Matteo Berrettini after an icy duel. “It’s sunny, it’s raining, no matter what the weather is, I try to get my tennis forward. “I try to play aggressive and focus on the things that help me.”

That approach will be necessary in the decisive matches of the tournament. The Chilean, present in his second consecutive ATP Tour semi-final after brushing up with glory in Estoril, will play the penultimate round in Munich against the third seed Taylor Fritz, winner 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(1) against the British Jack Draper.

Did you know…?
Cristian Garín has won his five ATP Tour trophies on clay courts. The Chilean, who has a solid record (5-1) in championship matches, imposed his talent on the clay of Houston, Munich, Córdoba, Rio de Janeiro and Santiago. At the BMW Open he seeks to dress as an ATP champion again three years later.


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