COMO, September 2, 2016
Marco Cecchinato is the last Italian standing at the 11th edition of the €42,500 ATP Challenger Torneo Città di Como after quarterfinals Friday. The 23-year-old from Palermo knocked out the tournament’s top seed Gerald Melzer, winning 7-6, 6-4.
Cecchinato sent down eight aces and came off better in most of the longer and more spectacular rallies of the encounter. The eighth seed, who is coached by former Italian professional Simone Vagnozzi, gained his third and decisive break in the fifth game of the second set to secure victory in one hour and 39 minutes.
Cecchinato had a good start into the season, including a triumph at the Milan Challenger but has gained his first match wins here in Como since the former top 100-player was given an 18-months ban for illegal behaviour including match fixing by the Italian Tennis Federation on 20 July 2016. As the tournament in Como is played at international level and is in the ATP Challenger Tour, Cecchinato was able to enter the event. He also played the Italian tournaments in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Fano, Cordenons as well as Manerbio. During this clay court swing on home soil, Cecchinato could not win one single match, with the exception of receiving a walkover in the opening round in Cordenons,
In Como he has returned to his winning ways. He had emerged victorious from the all-Italian-clash with veteran Filippo Volandri in the first round, then beat Mikael Ymer before he ousted Gerald Melzer in the stage of the final eight. Cecchinato will next take on Taro Daniel. It will be the first meeting between the two. The third seed from Japan eased past Melzer’s doubles partner this week, Nils Langer, winning 6-1, 6-4. Daniel broke the German’s service four times to advance in 70 minutes.
Adrian Ungur dismissed Argentina’s lucky loser Andrea Collarini 6-4, 6-4. The 31-year-old from Romania won 75 per cent of his first service points and converted four of his 10 break point chances to finish the encounter in one hour and 49 minutes.
Ungur will play Kenny de Schepper in the semi-finals. The 29-year-old Frenchman completed a 4-6, 7-5, 6-4 comeback win over the tournament’s number six Leonardo Mayer. De Schepper won 107 of the total 202 points played to prevail in two hours and 34 minutes. The world number 165 will appear in his second semi-final of the season, his first since Cherbourg in February. Ungur won the only previous meeting between the two in Cordenons last year.