Jan-Lennard Struff (GER) vs.  Cedrik-Marcel Stebe (GER)
Stebe suffered a hip injury approximately four years ago, which required surgery and since then he has been battling on the Challenger Tour to try to regain his top form. He turned professional in 2010 and was ranked as high as number 71 back in 2012. That injury had a significant adverse effect on his life and his ranking, so much so he considered retiring from tennis during his long recovery. However, he has endured and has decided to continue playing tennis. To put it into perspective, Struff turned professional in 2009. This was their first meeting on the ATP World Tour and it was going to be a mental battle just like their previous encounters on the Challenger Tour.
So much was expected of Struff when he first burst on the scene with his big serve and forehand. The highest he has been ranked was number 44; however, given the current young batch of talented players who are already winning titles, one has to wonder will he ever win his first singles title. Tennis is a humbling sport, you think that you have bigger weapons than some of the players winning titles and yet, you still haven’t won a title.
There must be a certain sense of panic that sets in with each year that goes by without winning a title. No matter how much you enjoy playing tennis, everyone hopes to be rewarded with at least one title during their career. Would it be a fulfilling career without a singles title? There are many players who have retired without ever winning a title and they would probably say they had a fulfilling career. Struff will not win his first singles title at this event since he lost to his countryman 3-6, 6-4, 6-7(2).
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