SEVILLE, September 5, 2016
The ATP Challenger Tour has returned to Spain for the LIV Copa Sevilla, one of the oldest internationl tournaments held on the Iberian Peninsula established in 1962.
Defending champion Pedro Cachín kicked off first round action of the €42,500 event on Monday with a convincing 6-2, 7-6 win over Spanish wild card Pedro Martínez Portero. The world number 296 lifted his maiden Challenger trophy here at the Real Betis Club and saved both break points he faced, converting four of his own to open his 2016 campaign. The encounter lasted one hour and 41 minutes. Cachín will either face Daniel Gimeno-Traver or Oriol Roca Batalla in the second round.
Only 19-year-old Carlos Taberner emerged victorious from the battle of the Spanish wild cards with Ricardo Ojeda Lara, winning 6-2, 6-1. The world number 363 from Valencia, who has already clinched two titles on the ITF Future Circuit, won 82% of his first service points and didn’t face a single break point to advance in 68 minutes. Taberner will next face sixth seed Arthur de Greef, who defeated Akira Santillan 7-6, 7-5.
Christian Garin is back on the winning ways, beating Lorenzo Giustino 6-4, 6-4. The 20-year-old from Chile capitalized on two of his five break point chances to celebrate his first match win since Poznan in July after one hour and 25 minutes. Next up for Garin is either fellow countryman Bastian Malla, who battled through the qualifying or the tournament’s top seed Inigo Cervantes.
In the evening session, Andrey Rublev dismissed Australian qualifier Christopher O’Connell, winning 6-3, 7-5. The 18-year-old Russian saved all five break points he faced, converting two of his own to prevail in one hour and 31 minutes. Rublev will next play the winner of the match between eighth seed Enrique López-Pérez and Tomas Lipovsek Puches.
In the final encounter of the day, second seed Gerald Melzer eased past former world number 32 Pablo Andújar 6-1, 6-2 in 71 minutes. It was the first match for the 30-year-old Spaniard since February. Andújar was given a wild card into the main draw, as he underwent an elbow surgery in March and is happy to be back on the tour. “On my way to the Copa Sevilla 2016! Back to competition after some time. Looking forward to it,” he posted ahead of the tournament on twitter.
— Pablo Andujar (@AndujarPablo) 1. September 2016