Ofner reached 4th ATP semi-final in Mallorca

The Austrian number one now takes on Alex Michelson on the Spanish holiday island.

Wimbledon dress rehearsal is going well for Sebastian Offner. The 28-year-old reached his fourth ATP semi-final at the Mallorca Championship presented by Waterdrop in the early hours of Thursday morning after Kitzbühel 2017, Astana 2023 and Hong Kong at the start of the 2024 season. After defeating Mallorcan Jaume Munar (ATP 63) on Monday and a two-set victory against fifth-seeded Italian Luciano Tarteri (ATP 37) on Tuesday, Styrian (ATP 54) defeated the still 19-year-old American Alex Michelson (ATP 62), meaning 3: 6, 7:5, 6:3. That gives Wolfgang Thiem’s ​​ATC Academy protégé his next chance at a first ATP final in his career at the ATP 250 grass tournament on the Spanish holiday island on Friday. Before 6:00 CEST, his opponent there will be British qualifier Paul Jupp (ATP 289), who surprisingly defeated American shooting star Ben Sheldon (ATP 14) 6:3, 3: 6, 7:6. (8)

Offner pulls his head off the ropes

Against Tarteri, Ofner lost his only fight against Mickelson so far, in this case in August 2023 in Winston-Salem (USA) 6:7 ​​(4), 5:7. But he wants revenge again. Although St. Mariner had to accept a decisive break in the first set at 1:2 with only one break chance, he managed to fend off a total of six break points in the second set at 2:2. That was one of the turning points of this game. At 4:3, Offner missed his first chance, but finally forced Michelson to level the set in the twelfth game after leading 30-0. It was very close again in the deciding round: Ofner managed to break 3:3 on his own serve at 15:40, after which he attacked himself – with massive help from Mickelson, in which he hit all three of his double faults. game. For his part, Ofner made a total of ten double faults with twelve aces.

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A steady return to the top 50 in the world

This error rate was primarily due to the windy conditions: “I had a really hard time, especially early on, especially on serve,” Offner said. “Basically it’s okay. There weren’t many rallies at the start and he handled it very well – and, above all, he did an incredibly good job with the conditions, I think. And a break would soon follow: I delivered two double faults in a row. But in the second set, after I blocked break opportunities, I somehow noticed: his patience waiting for one or another prize finally paid off, especially in the eighth game of the third set: “I know. He should start doing that at some point when he’s a little tighter. Very difficult to serve especially with a tailwind. If you move away a little, the balls will fly more. By advancing to the semi-finals, Ofner ensured his return to the world’s top 50 and gained a lot of confidence ahead of the Grand Slam at Wimbledon: “I’m confident now, I know what I can do. Now I’m waiting for tomorrow, I’ll see what else happens – and then I’m sure Will be ready for Wimbledon.

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