MARRAKECH, April 6, 2016
Leading off Wednesday’s centre court action at the Grand Prix Hassan II in Marrakech was the lone remaining first round match between the tournament’s number seven Pablo Carreno-Busta and Evgeny Donskoy, who appeared in his first clay court match of the season. The 25-year-old Russian, who captured his eighth ATP Challenger crown at last week’s hard court event in Ra’anana, obviously felt some problems to adapt to the conditions in Morocco. Carreno-Busta lost his serve only once and converted three of his own four break point chances to secure a 6-2, 6-3 victory in 70 minutes. The Spaniard also beat Donskoy in the only previous meeting between the two in Indian Wells this year and will face Denis Istomin in the second round.
Facundo Bagnis reached the quarterfinals with 6-2, 6-4 victory over second seed Joao Sousa. The in-form-Argentine, who already captured three titles on the ATP Challenger Tour this season, appears in his first tournament outside South America in 2016. Bagnis won 80% of his first service points, hitting five aces to prevail in one hour and 10 minutes.
“I played so well today, in particular during the first set, and tried to stay focused in the following. The difference made the break in the ninth game of the second set,” Bagnis was satisfied afterwards.
“I have been working a lot during the pre-season. I have a really good team as well as a lot of confidence and I feel comfortable on the court. The start into the season was really nice and I try to enjoy the moment,” the world number 95 told Tennis TourTalk about his keys to success.
“I like to play here. The weather is great. I like to play in these conditions with a lot of sunshine and hot temperatures. So everything’s fine here in Marrakech,” added Bagnis, who is making his tournament debut this week.
Meanwhile on the outside courts Bagnis’ next opponent has been found when Albert Montanes emerged victorious from the all-Spanish-affair with Daniel Gimeno-Traver, winning 6-4, 6-4. The olderst player in the draw extended his head to head record to 4-1, winning 78% of his first service points. 35-year-old Montanes capitalized on three of his six break point chances to advance after one hour and 16 minutes.
Third seed Borna Coric still has to wait to start his Marrakech campaign, as the Croatian youngster received a walkover into the quartererfinals when Simone Bolelli was forced to withdraw from the match with a left knee injury.
— borna coric (@borna_coric) 6. April 2016
Coric will take on 2007 champion Paul-Henri Mathieu next, who dismissed Argentine qualifier Maximo Gonzalez 7-6, 6-0. The 34-year-old Frenchman has returned to Morocco for the eighth time and reached the stage of the final eight for the second time this season. Mathieu hit three aces and won 59% of the total points to finish the encounter after one hour and 32 minutes.