GENOVA, September 9, 2016
The semi-finals at the €106,500 AON Open Challenger in Genova are set with the tournament’s number one making his way to the final four on Friday evening.
Nicolas Almagro emerged victorious from the battle of the wild cards with sixth seed Denis Istomin, winning 6-2, 7-6. Both player lost in the first week of the US Open and decided to return to the clay courts in Italy. The world number 48 from Spain was knocked out by Gael Monfils in New York’s third round but celebrated his first win over the 30-year-old from Uzbekistan in the pair’s seventh meeting. Almagro lost to Istomin in the round 64 at Wimbledon this year but prevailed in Genova after one hour and 22 minutes.
He will next face Adam Pavlasek. The seventh seed from the Czech Republic stopped the good run in Italy of Kenny de Schepper, rallying 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 to overcome the Como Challenger champion in two hours and 25 minutes.
Third favourite Carlos Berlocq also had to fight hard, battling past Jozef Kovalik 6-3, 4-6, 7-6. The 33-year-old from Argentina won 73 per cent of his first service points and broke his opponent’s serve five times to seal victory in two hours and 40 minutes.
Berlocq will next play Jerzy Janowicz. The 25-year-old from Poland beat Italian qualifier Gianluca Mager 6-4, 6-2 in one hour and 13 minutes in the last match of the day.