Bonzi enters maiden ATP Tour final
PUNE: A tenacious Benjamin Bonzi knocked out second seed and world number 35 Botic Van de Zandschulp in a gripping three-setter to reach his maiden ATP World Tour final here on Friday.
Keeping the intensity throughout, world number 60 Bonzi prevailed over Zandschulp 7-6(5) 6-7 (5) 6-1 in an intense semifinal of the Tata Open Maharashtra at the Balewadi Stadium.
With his win, Frenchman Bonzi prevented a rare all-Dutch final as earlier in the day, the Netherlands’ Tallon Griekspoor ousted eight seed Russian Aslan Karatsev 7-6(4) 6-1 in the first semifinal.
It was the first win for Bonzi in three meetings with the Dutchman.
In each of the three sets, Bonzi went a break up but the resolute Zandschulp, with his big game, stretched the match as well as his opponent.
Bonzi hit fluent serves even as Zandschulp hit some uncharacteristic high unforced errors in the beginning.
Bonzi found a stunning forehand winner on Dutch player’s drive volley to earn three breakpoints in game two and went up when Zandschulp netted a backhand on the second chance.
The Dutchman was in danger of going down 0-4 as he faced another breakpoint in game four when he hit a forehand long but managed to hold to get on board.