VILLENA, April 5, 2018
#NextGenATP star Alex de Minaur, who had a fantastic start into the season on home soil by finishing runner-up at the ATP 250 event in Sydney as well as reaching the semi-finals in Brisbane, will now play his first semi- final at ATP Challenger level since Segovia in July last year.
The 19-year-old Australian defeated former Valencia Open champion Marcel Granollers of Spain 6-4, 7-6 in Thursday’s quarterfinal of the €43,000 Ferrero Challenger Open in Villena.
De Minaur sent down five aces, winning 71 per cent of his first service points to prevail after one hour and 49 minutes. The teenager will next take on top seed Roberto Carballés Baena, who fought past Spanish qualifier Mario Vilella Martínez 7-5, 3-6, 6-3 in one hour and 51 minutes.
No. 2 seed Marco Cecchinato emerged victorious from the all-Italian affair with qualifier Gian Marco Moroni 6-4, 6-4. The 25-year-old from Sicily saved four of the five break points he faced, converting three of his own to advance in one hour and 24 minutes.
Next up for Cecchinato will be Spanish wild card entry Pablo Andújar. The 32-year-old Cuenca missed almost the entire 2017 season due to injury and will appear in the stage of the final four for the first time since the ATP Challenger in Kenitra in September 2016. Andújar rallied past Guido Andreozzi of Argentina 1-6, 6-4, 6-4. The encounter lasted two horus and 21 minutes.