SEGOVIA, July 26, 2016
The top seeds of the 31st edition of the Open Castilla y León Challenger advanced to the second round on Tuesday. El Espinar’s number one Nicolas Almagro dismissed Maxime Janivier 6-3, 6-2. The world number 46 from Spain didn’t face a break point, capitalizing on three of his own to cross the finish line in only 59 minutes.
“It is always difficult to play in the altitude as well as on a surface, which is not the favourite one, but this is the way to approach the match. Nonetheless, everything worked out well today and I am happy with the win,” Almagro told afterwards, facing fellow countryman Ricardo Villacorta-Alonso next. The Spanish wild card beat Nikola Mektic 6-4, 6-4.
“In these conditions, it is going to be an open match. On Thursday will be my second round encounter and I will just take it step by step,” Almagro said.
The tournament’s number two Lukas Rosol defeated Norwegian qualifier Viktor Durasovic 6-4, 6-4. The world number 83 from the Czech Republic saved all three break points he face, converting two of his own to advance in 68 minutes.
“The first match is always difficult. You need to find your rhythm, in particular in these conditions here. I am happy to go through,” Rosol told.
Rosol will take on Adrian Mendendez-Maceiras. The Spanish hard court specialist rallied from a set down to overcome Eduardo Struvay 6-7, 6-2, 6-4 in two hours and six minutes.
Third favourite Illya Marchenko ended the winning streak of 17-year-old Australian Alex de Minaur, who battled through the qualifying. The 28-year-old from the Ukraine won 56% of the total points to seal victory in one hour and 25 minutes.
“It was really tough to play today with the heat and the altitude. Luckily I managed to win,” said Marchenko, who captured the ATP Challenger title in Recanati last week. He will next face Ruben Bemelmans, who cruised past Spanish qualifier Jaume Pla Malfeito 6-0, 6-3.
Sixth seed Jerzy Janowicz, who played his first match since losing to John Isner in the opening round of the Australian Open in January, lost to Luca Vanni 6-2, 6-7, 5-7. The 31-year-old Italian fired 17 aces, winning 83% of his first service points to seal victory in two hours and 29 minutes. Vanni will next play Yannick Mertens. The world number 253 from Belgium eased past Pablo Vivero Gonzalez 6-4, 6-2.