PORTOROZ, August 9, 2016
The ATP Challenger Tour has returned to the Adriatic-Mediterranean coastline for the fourth edition of the €42,500 Tilia Slovenia Open in Portoroz.
The tournament’s favourites advanced into the second round, as top seed Florian Mayer fought past David Guez 6-4, 1-6, 7-5 on Monday. The world number 94 from Germany won 72% of his first service points and converted six of his 11 break point chances to prevail in one hour and 53 minutes.
“I do not know exactly how, but I won today in very hot conditions. I was 0-3 down in the thrid set, so I am just happy,” Mayer told. He will next face Aldin Setkic. The 28-year-old from Bosnia and Herzegovina overcame Dmitry Popko 3-6, 6-2, 7-6.
Local hero and fourth seed Grega Zemlja, who finished runner-up to Luca Vanni last year, benefited from the retirement of Alexandre Sidorenko, leading 6-1, 4-1. The 29-year-old from Kranj will next play Yannick Mertens. The Belgian cruised past Ukrainian teenager Vady Ursu, who battled through the qualifying, 6-0, 6-2 in only 50 minutes.
On Tuesday, third favourite Jozef Kovalik had no problems to beat Alessandro Bega 6-1, 6-1. The world number 127 from Slovakia saved all four break points he faced, capitalizing on five of his own to seal victory in 57 minutes. Next up for Kovalik is Daniil Medvedev. The Russian needed only 45 minutes to defeat Cem Ilkel 6-3, 6-0.
Blaz Kavcic is continuing his return to the courts after he had been sidelined for seven months due to injury. The former world number 68, who dropped to 335th position in the ATP rankings, is playing his only ninth tournament of the season and opened his Portoroz campaign with a 6-4, 6-1 victory over Michal Konecny. Kavcic will face sixth seed Marton Fucsovics in the second round. The Hungarian dismissed German wild card Yannick Maden 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 in two hours and one minute.
Hello from Portoroz. 🎾🎾☀️☀️ pic.twitter.com/Ij2UmT5X6X
— Blaz Kavcic (@blaz_kavcic) 6. August 2016