His last appearance at the tournament was in Antalya in February 2017 at Futurity level and he ended up winning the title after five straight three-set wins. And when he returns to the Turkish provinces after more than six years, things are going according to Sebastian Offner’s plan: The 26-year-old reached his second semi-final at the Megasaray Hotels Open, an ATP 75 clay-court contender, on Friday this season after reaching the final in Tenerife (Spain) in January. A very important sense of accomplishment, after current fifth-placed Austria suffered two defeats in India.
After 7: 5, 6: 2 against the owner of the Turkish allowance Yanki Erel (ATP 467), against whom he converted a 2: 5 deficit in the first set and saved two set pieces, the first seed was Styrian (ATP 160) in the round of 16 of Hungary Mate Falcoz (ATP 244) at 2:31 hours with 4:6, 7:5, 7:6 (5). He was behind in the all-important tie-break in the third division with 0: 2 and 1: 3. In the quarterfinals, Offner was much easier this time: he defeated the Belgian ex-top 100 player Kemer Copegan 6: 4, 6: 1 in just under 76 minute. His next opponent was also in the top 100 until an injury break: Italian Gianluca Mager (ATP 323), world No. 62 awaits in November 2021.
Ofner could take revenge in this game by getting Lukas Neumayer into the final. Because the reigning Austrian champion slipped into the main draw after a defeat in the qualifying final as a lucky loser and lost there 2: 6, 3: 6 to Madjer. Gerald Melzer had mastered the playoffs with two convincing victories in his first start of the season after breaking an injury, but was then unable to compete in the first major competition game due to an injury to his left knee. Neumayer took advantage of this and replaced Lower Austrian.
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