BASTAD, July 12, 2018
The semi-finals of the €43,000 Bastad Challenger are set with two teenagers reaching the stage of the final four.
World No. 125 Corentin Moutet is the highest ranked player left in the singles draw. The No. 3 seed emerged victorious from the all-French encounter with Constant Lestienne 7-5, 6-3 on Thursday.
Moutet saved nine of the 12 break points he faced, capitalizing on six of his own to secure victory in one hour and 56 minutes. Next up for the 19-year-old will be Slovakian qualifier Filip Horansky, who eased past Lukas Rosol from the Czech Republic 6-3, 6-1 in only 66 minutes.
Local favourite Mikael Ymer returns to the semis in Bastad losing to Leonardo Mayer last year. The 19-year-old Swede fought past Argentine veteran Carlos Berlocq 6-1, 4-6, 7-5. Ymer outpointed his opponent 102-89 to prevail after two hours and 44 minutes.
“A relief”, Ymer described the feeling after the match ball. “Against these player who fight for every ball I know nothing will go easy. You must be prepared to run and play in difficult situations. I was ready for it today. But if I had missed that backhand on the match ball, I’d been here with a loss. We have chosen a terrible sport – there are small margins so I have my feet on the ground anyway,” says Ymer and tells of the decision:
“When I left at 4-5, I tried to think about what I could do differently. I became too defensive and ended up too far behind the court. I thought I would try to go for it and found the places very good in the game. I finished the game very strongly and did not let him control too much. I am happy with the match and it takes me very positively,” he said.
The World No. 343 will next challenge Pedro Martínez of Spain, who defeated Vaclav Safranek from the Czech Republic 7-5, 6-2. The encounter lasted one hour and 39 minutes.
“It’s great fun to be in the semifinal again,” said Ymer. “I want to go one step further this year, but I will try not to think about the next match until tomorrow. Now I want to keep calm.”
Photo Gallery (by Brigitte Urban):