EL PRAT DE LLOBREGAT, October 4, 2019
The semi-finals line-up of the Sanchez-Casal Head by NH Hotel Group is set, led by World No. 102 Jaume Munar. The No. 2 seed of the €46,600 ATP Challenger clay-court event fought past Mohamed Safwat of Egypt 6-4, 6-7(4), 6-4 on Friday afternoon in Catalonia.
Munar was a break up in each set but struggled with his serve, hitting seven double faults. The 22-year-old Spaniard, however, kept his focus towards the end of the match and secured victory in two hours and 42 minutes.
Mixed feelings for the Spaniards at @SanchezCasal Challenger QF today. Carlos Taberner misses 5 match points and falls to Jozef Kovalik. No. 2 seed Jaume Munar overcomes Mohamed Safwat in three sets. “Keep fighting“ was the key, he said. pic.twitter.com/9pKzy2tstl
— Florian Heer (@Florian_Heer) October 4, 2019
“To keep fighting was the most important thing today,” Munar told Tennis TourTalk afterwards. “I had some good moments during the match but also some bad moments. At the end of the second set, I felt pretty bad, as I didn’t play aggressively but I managed to play solid in the end.”
Although the sun was shining all day long in the Greater Barcelona area, players had to cope with some windy conditions. “It was not easy and the court is very slow, which makes it difficult for me with the serve and the first shots,” said Mallorca native Munar, one of the most promising Spanish players.
“I don’t feel any pressure. I feel very comfortable here in Barcelona. It’s my second home. I have been living here for seven years and I have all my friends here.”
Up next for Munar will be Salvatore Caruso. The No. 4 seed from Italy remained untroubled in his 6-1, 6-4 win over seventh favourite Pedro Sousa from Portugal. The encounter lasted one hour and 11 minutes.
Jozef Kovalik had to show some fighting spirit against Carlos Taberner from Spain. The 26-year-old from Slovakia needed to save five match points to secure a 6-1, 2-6, 7-6(5) victory. In the end, Kovalik outpointed his rival from Valencia 99-96 after two hours and 45 minutes.
🎾😓 ¡Qué lástima! Taberner desaprovecha cinco bolas de partido y se queda sin semifinales
🇸🇰 Jozef Kovalic 6⃣-2⃣-7⃣
🇪🇸 Carlos Taberner 1⃣-6⃣-6⃣
— Eurosport.es (@Eurosport_ES) October 4, 2019
Following his triumph at the Pekao Szczecin Open last month, Kovalik will appear in the stage of the final four for the second time this season. The World No. 208 will next meet Alessandro Giannessi, who emerged victorious from the all-Italian affair with Filippo Baldi, winning 5-7, 6-0, 6-1 in one hour and 51 minutes.
In the doubles final, Sergio Martos Gornes of Spain and Ramkumar Ramanathan from India will take on fourth seeded duo Simone Bolleli of Italy and Spaniard David Vega Hernandez.