After Alexander Zverev’s surprising exit, Casper Ruud is now the favourite for the title in Munich. The Norwegian lived up to his role, albeit in three sets. The last remaining DTB professional Oscar Otte is also in the quarter-finals.

The Norwegian Casper Ruud has entered the quarter-finals at the tennis tournament in Munich. The number two seed narrowly defeated Alex Molcan of Slovakia 3:6, 6:4 and 6:4 on Thursday. The 23-year-old Ruud will now face Dutchman Botic van de Zandschulp in the last eight.

After the surprising elimination of Olympic champion Alexander Zverev, Ruud is the top favourite to win the title at the traditional event at the Iphitos facility. Oscar Otte was the only German who still had a chance to reach the quarter-finals in the afternoon. He met the number three of the tournament in US-American Reilly Opelka.

Otte wins smoothly against Opelka

Oscar Otte sat back, clenched his fists and enjoyed the applause of the spectators on the almost full centre court in Munich. The Cologne player is the only German to have reached the quarter-finals of the traditional tournament at the Iphitos facility. The 28-year-old beat US number three seed Reilly Opelka 7-6 (7-4) and 6-2 on Thursday and is now in his second quarter-final in a fortnight.

“I’m super happy to be in the quarter-finals in beautiful Munich,” Otte said. He said he is trying to keep developing his game on clay. “So far it’s going very well,” the German noted. His chances of reaching the semi-finals are also good. Waiting in the next round is Alejandro Tabilo from Chile, a player who is behind Otte in the world rankings. The lucky loser, number 91 in the world, benefited in his match from the withdrawal of Frenchman Hugo Gaston.

From the start, the spectators, who kept cheering Otte on with loud shouts of “Let’s go, Oscar”, saw the expected fast-paced match. Many free points through hard-hitting serves, short rallies and simple errors out of play. No wonder, because with the 2.11 metre tall Opelka and the 18 centimetre shorter Otte, two tennis giants met. Smooth clay court tennis? Not a chance. “Everyone on the tour has problems with their serve, but I think I did quite well today,” said Otte, on whom German hopes now rest in Munich.

Krawietz and Mies in doubles semi-finals

Meanwhile, the German doubles team of Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies has reached the semi-finals. The duo, who have already won the French Open together twice, beat Argentina’s Andres Molteni and Roman Jebavy of the Czech Republic 6-2, 6-2 on Thursday. Last week, the Germans celebrated their first tournament win in Barcelona since their joint comeback at the beginning of the year. Last season, the pair had been unable to play together for more than half a year due to a knee injury suffered by Mies.