SEGOVIA, July 25, 2016
Four first round matches were scheduled on Day 1 of the €64,000 Open Castilla y León held at the Villa El Espinar. Japanese wild card Akira Santillan caused the upset of the day, knocking out the tournament’s number four Marco Chiudinelli 4-6, 6-4, 6-3.
The only 19-year-old, who has already captured four ITF Future titles this season, fired nine aces, winning 86% of his first service points to prevail in one hour and 56 minutes.
“I played well throughout the match with the exception of the ninth game in the first set when I produced a double fault and a few unforced errors. In the second and third set, I was solid again, serving well and hitting good shots. I think, that was the key,” Santillan was pleased with his performance.
“The fast surface suits my game. I also played the tournaments in Kitzbühel as well as in Cali in Colombia before, which helped me to adapt to the conditions here. Those events took place in even higher altitude.”
Santillan will next face Jorge Hernando Ruano. The 29-year-old Spaniard also entered the main draw with a wild card and defeated Mohamed Safwat 6-2, 6-3. Hernando Ruano didn’t face a break point, converting three of his own to advance in 69 minutes. In his eighth attempt, he celebrated his first match win in Segovia
“I felt really comfortable on court today. I played my best tennis,” the Valladolid resident told after one of his best wins in his career.
Seventh seed Kenny de Schepper, who lifted the trophy at the ATP Challenger in Pozoblanco five years ago, emerged vicorious from the all-French-affair with Remi Boutillier, winning 6-3, 6-3. The world number 156 saved all of the four break points he faced, capitalizing on three of his own to finish the encounter in one hour and 19 minutes.
“I felt good today but it is very difficult to play in the heat. I like the Spanish mentality. They are very nice people and I enjoy my stay here,” de Schepper said.
De Schepper will play local favourite Roberto Ortega-Olmedo next. The 25-year-old Spaniard eased past Filip Horansky 6-1, 6-3 in only 49 minutes.
“When you have a look at the ranking positions, de Schepper will be the favourite,” the world number 316 told afterwards. “Although that the French always play well here, it will be an even match.”