Fixture: (7) Jan-Lennard Struff vs (5) Nikoloz Basilashivili
Date: 2 May 2021
Tournament: BMW Open 2021
Venue: Munich, Germany
Category: ATP 250
Surface: Red clay
Prize money: €419,470
Match timing: Not before 1.30 pm local time, 5 pm IST
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel | UK - Amazon Prime Video
Jan-Lennard Struff vs Nikoloz Basilashvili preview
Seventh seed Jan-Lennard Struff meets Georgia's Nikoloz Basilashvili in the final of the BMW Open in Munich on Sunday.
Struff had an inconsistent start to his 2021 campaign. After reaching the semifinal of the ATP Cup with Germany, he won just two more matches during the hardcourt swing.
The German has, however, bounced back well on clay.
After reaching the quarterfinal in Cagliari, Struff has come into his own in Munich. The local favorite defeated Dominik Koepfer and Filip Krajinovic in back-to-back three-set thrillers before thrashing Ilya Ivashka in the semifinal.
Nikoloz Basilashvili, meanwhile, had a nightmare year in 2020, riddled with some serious problems off the court - including a very public domestic abuse case. But the Georgian seems to have put those issues behind him, if his 2021 form is anything to go by.
Basilashvili started his clay season with a semifinal run in Cagliari, following which he exited early in Monte Carlo and Barcelona. The Georgian is, however, yet to drop a set in Munich so far, and in the semifinals on Saturday he decimated second seed Casper Ruud 6-1, 6-2.
Jan-Lennard Struff vs Nikoloz Basilashvili head-to-head
The final in Munich is the fifth encounter between Jan-Lennard Struff and Nikoloz Basilashvili, and their head-to-head currently stands at a 2-2 stalemate.
The pair last faced each other three weeks ago in the quarterfinals at Cagliari, where Baslishvili triumphed in three sets. Struff, however, defeated the Georgian in both of their encounters in 2020 - in Dubai and Paris.
It was Basilashvili who prevailed in their very first encounter, at the 2019 Rogers Cup.
Jan-Lennard Struff vs Nikoloz Basilashvili prediction
Neither player comes into the final as a clear favorite, especially since the pair's encounter last month was rather tight. That said, Nikoloz Basilashvili seems to have struck a rich vein of form in Munich.
The Georgian has looked the part this week, using his all-out attacking style to great effect. His high-profile results since the start of the year seemed to have given him a lot of confidence.
Jan-Lennard Struff has had a more difficult run of matches coming into the final. His big-hitting game is usually based around his serve, but the German's numbers with that shot have not been too great this week.
There could be an equalizer in the form of fatigue, as Basilashvili played two matches on Saturday - the quarterfinal that was carried over from the previous day due to rain, and the semifinal against Ruud. But given his recent form, it is easy to see the Georgian riding his momentum to a second title of the year.
Prediction: Nikolz Basilashvili to win in three sets.