POREC, March 16, 2019
Top favourite Andrea Pellegrino of Italy and unseeded Frenchman Maxime Chazal will go head-to-head in Sunday’s title match at the Istarska Rivijera in Porec.
Chaval beat Constantin Schmitz of Germany in the first semi-final on Saturday morning 6-2, 6-4. The 25-year-old Nouméa, New Caledonia native won 72 per cent of his first service points and dictated most of the rallies from the baseline. Schmitz, who had to battle through the qualifying, seemed to run out of a steam towards the end of the match and Chaval finished the encounter after one hour and 50 minutes.
“I felt a bit tired at the beginning of the match but managed to find a rhtythm after two or three games. Then I started to play well,” Chazal was pleased with his performance. The World No. 634 will play his first final of the season.
“It is going to be a tough match for sure. I know Andrea pretty well, as I play a lot of tournaments in Italy. He is a very good player, being solid on the forehand as well as on the backhand. He usually plays at Challenger level but I will try to find the right tactic against him. Now I will enjoy some rest and prepare for tomorrow’s match.”
Pellegrino remained untroubled in his match against No. 8 seed Ergi Kirkin of Turkey. The World No. 345 outpointed his opponent 57-39 after one hour and 20 minutes. Pellegrino won the only previous meeting with Chazal two years ago in straight sets. The 21-year-old Bisceglie native is seeking his fifth ITF singles title. Chazal could celebrate his 10th triumph on the Pro Circuit.
Hassan/Schmitz claim doubles trophies
Later in the afternoon, Benjamin Hassan and Constantin Schmitz took the doubles title at the Tenis Centar Pical. The two Germans cruised past the all-Slovenian combination of Nik Razborsek and Mike Urbanija, winning 6-2, 6-0 in the final.
— TennisTourTalk (@TennisTourTalk) 16. März 2019
Hassan and Schmitz, who are both based in Koblenz, broke their opponents’ serve six times to seal victory in only 50 minutes. By clinching their second team title, the Germans split $930 in prize money as well as 100 ITF-Ranking points.
“This was our first clay-court tournament of the season. I think that we can be pleased with our performance this week,” said Hassan, who lost in the quarterfinals of the singles event here in Istria against Kirkin. “We have teamed up for only the second time and won our second title. That sounds like a good outcome.”
Schmitz, who lost to Chazal, earlier in the day added: “Maxime played a good match. All credits to him. I had two long matches over the last two days and I that’s what I felt on the court today. It was nice to see that we could find the right motivation for the doubles final to leave with the title.”
Both players will continue to compete in Croatia. Next up will be Rovinj before the Istrian swing will conclude in Opatija.