IRVING, March 20, 2015
Two of the top four players dropped out at the ATP Challenger Irving Tennis Classic on Thursday’s second round action.
Steve Darcis defeated top seed Jeremy Chardy winning 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 in one hour and 55 minutes. The 31-year-old Belgian saved three out of his four break points he had to face.
“I told myself to play against Jeremy…I tried to manage not to miss too much and to make him play…I was hoping he could miss before me…in the second set he played better, but hopefully he missed more than me and yeah, I was very solid today,” told Darcis afterwards and added concerning the break he gained in the final set. “I felt great, it is so tough to take his service game because he’s serving huge. It was a tough match. It was a very close game on his serve and I got the break. I was really happy. But you know if you break one time against him, you can have the set. So yeah. I played a great match I think today.”
Darcis will face Kyle Edmund in the quarterfinals. The 20year-old British qualifier defeated Diego Schwartzman 3-6, 6-3, 6-1 in one hour and 30 minutes. The world number 63 from Argentina double faulted six times during the encounter and just made to many unforced errors.
Aljaz Bedene, who had a great start into the season by reaching the ATP 250 final in Chennai, is back on the winning track. The world number 115 from Slovenia beat fourth seed Dominic Thiem 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 in one hour and 51 minutes.
Marcos Baghdatis set a quarter-final clash with the Slovenian through a 6-4, 6-7, 6-1 victory over Paul-Henri Mathieu. The seventh seed Cypriot gained his first win over the 33-year-old Frenchman since Basel 2007.
Third seed Benjamin Becker, who lives in Dallas, defeated Damir Dzumhur in straight sets. The German veteran fired 11 aces winning 7-5, 6-1 in 72 minutes.
Becker will meet Tim Smyczek next. The 27-year-old US-American took our fifth seed Sergiy Stakhovsky winning 7-5, 0-6, 6-3. Both players arrived from Indian Wells and met for the first time. Smyczek capitalized on four of his eight break points to seal victory in one hour and 46 minutes.
In Thursday’s night session Alexander Zverev upset sixth seed Jerzy Janowicz winning 74% of his first service points. The German teenager defeated the Polish world number 51 in straight sets 6-2, 7-6 in 90 minutes.
The seventeen-year-old world number 136 will face Irving’s number two Gilles Muller, who cruised past Denis Kudla winning 6-4, 6-2. The Luxembourgish world number 36 hit six aces, saved all break points he had to face to advance in 61 minutes.
Irving’s two top-seeded doubles pairs are out. Mariusz Fyrstenberg and David Marrero lost to Denis Kudla and Andrej Rublev 2-6, 4-6.
Germen tandem of Philipp Petzschner and Benjamin Becker took out the tournament’s second favourites Eric Buturac and Rajeev Ram 6-7, 7-6, 10-6.