ORTISEI, October 9, 2018
Top seed Pierre-Hugues Herbert opened his title bid at the Sparkasse Challenger Val Gardena Südtirol on Tuesday with a 7-5, 6-4 win over Tomislav Brkis from Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The World No. 55 from France saved the only break point he faced, converting two of his own six chances to advance in one hour and five minutes. Herbert will next play Italian wild card entry Liam Caruana.
Ante Pavic knocked out Lukas Lacko from Slovakia, the tournament’s No. 2. The 29-year-old from Croatia fired 26 aces, winning 85 per cent of his first service points to secure a 7-6(7), 7-6(16) victory in one hour and 51 minutes. Lacko will take on Gregoire Barrere of France in the second round.
No. 3 seed Jaume Munar also fell in the opening round. The #NextGenATP Spaniard lost 6-3, 7-6(3) to Russian qualifier Kirill Kivattsev. The encounter lasted one hour and 27 minutes. Up next for the 20-year-old from Volgograd will be Simone Bolelli of Italy.
Local favourite advances
Jannik Sinner emerged victorious from the battle of the wild cards with Luca Giacomini 7-6(4), 6-1. The 17-year-old from Sexten converted his first match point after 62 minutes.
“It’s very nice to celebrate my first Challenger win here. A lot of people came to support me,” Sinner was pleased afterwards. The teenager will face either defending champion Lorenzo Sonego or Constant Lestienne of France.
“To play Sonego in the second round would be very challenging,” Sinner is looking forward to the match.