Lucky Struff cherishes journey to Madrid final

Madrid, May 6

Jan-Lennard Struff is relishing his bid for a first ATP title following his “incredible journey” at the Madrid Open which has seen the German become the first lucky loser to reach the final of a Masters 1000 event.

Struff claimed a 4-6 6-3 6-4 semifinals victory over Russia’s Aslan Karatsev on Friday, days after losing to the same opponent in the final round of qualifying.

Despite his defeat in the qualifier, Struff was added to the main draw after a late withdrawal and has since enjoyed a fine run, ousting world No. 5 Stefanos Tsitsipas in the quarterfinals.

Asked if he had expected to be in the final in Madrid, Struff said: “No, of course not. (I) was very happy that I got chosen for lucky loser, that I had been drawn two out of three. This is just a crazy story, I would say. I couldn’t have imagined this.”

“It’s an incredible journey and story, here in Madrid, and very, very happy. You should not give up and try again always,” he added.

Tomorrow, Struff will face defending champion Carlos Alcaraz, who beat Borna Coric 6-4 6-3 on his 20th birthday.

The pair have met twice before, with Struff defeating world No. 2 Alcaraz at the French Open in 2021 before the Spaniard got his revenge in a marathon five-setter at Wimbledon the following year. — Reuters

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