The first three top-seeds headlined quarterfinal action at Wroclaw Open Challenger on Friday. The tournament’s number one and only top 100 player in the draw, Ricardas Berankis, won 79 % of his first service points to advance to the semi-finals defeating Ilya Marchenko 6-3, 7-6 after one hour and 39 minutes.
Second seed Steve Darcis saved all four break points he had to face in his encounter with Konstantin Kravchuk and sealed victory in exactly one hour winning 6-4, 6-2.
“This court is so fast, everything can happen. If you don’t put your first game in play, you can be in danger and the returns are very important. The surface is actually too fast to play tennis but what can you do. It doesn’t help to complain, it’s tough to compete but overall we have a very good tournament here,” the world number 115 from Liege told about the conditions right after the match. Darcis has reached his second semi-final of the year after making the final at the ATP Challenger in Noumea in the season’s very first week.
The Belgian will face Farrukh Dustov on Saturday, who took out Michael Berrer. The 34-year-old German – Wroclaw’s defending champion from 2009 – actually had a great start into the season beating Rafael Nadal in Doha and competed at his first ATP Challenger event of the year, played aggressively but the third seeded Uzbek was more effective in capitalizing on his break point opportunities. Dustov emerged victorious in one hour and 14 minutes winning 7-5, 6-4 and therewith stopped Berrer’s winning streak at Orbita Hall.
Match of the day, however, was the first meeting between Jan Mertl and Mirza Basic. The latter was 7-6 and 5-2 up before the 33-year-old Czech started a comeback firing 16 aces, taking the tie-break in the second set and the match the distance. Yet in the end it was Basic, who gained the decisive break in the eleventh game of the final set. In the following the qualifier from Bosnia-Herzegovina served the match out winning 7-6, 6-7, 7-5 after two hours and 34 minutes.
“I played well until 5-4 in the second set but suddenly I lost the set. At 5-5 in the third set I was lucky with a point, which helped me to gain the break and then I closed it out,” Basic was relieved afterwards reaching his first semi-final of the season. “Physically I’m good. I was just mentally a bit down in the second set but it improved in the third and I got my confidence back,” the 23-year-old added. “I enjoy my stay here in Wroclaw. I was pretty surprised when I arrived because I expected a small city but it’s actually quite big and also very beautiful with a lot of friendly people,” Basic told about his first appearance in Silesia.
Andriej Kapas made it into the doubles final. Alongside his partner Frank Dancevic, the Kiev native defeated the German tandem of Dominik Meffert and Franky Moser winning 7-6, 6-3.