Only one seeded player was left in the draw on semi-finals Saturday at the ATA-TRENTINO Futures event in Trento, in the northern part of Italy.
Two unseeded players were first up on centre court when 18-year-old Frenchman Quentin Halys took on Viktor Galovic from Croatia. The teenager from Bondy impressed through a solid baseline game with a powerful forehand as well as a good serve. Halys hit nine aces and capitalized on three out of five break point chances he gained to seal victory in 80 minutes winning 6-3, 7-5.
“It was a close match. I returned better than him today and served really well. The surface is pretty fast but I really enjoy the conditions here,” Halys told Tennis TourTalk afterwards. “I am really happy to reach my second final of the season. I gained a lot of confidence and of course I will try to do my best tomorrow,” the youngster added after he advanced to his second final within two weeks.
Halys is a former junior’s world number three and took the doubles title at Roland Garros last year. He plays his first season at senior’s level. “There isn’t so much difference between playing on the junior’s tour or at senior’s level. Well ok, as you can see, I am alone here without any coach. Last year, everything was always in good conditions. Now it’s not bad but sometimes, at some tournaments the practice courts are not the best and we don’t have good balls. These are the only things that have changed but overall I enjoy playing here and I try to do my best to climb up in rankings as fast as I can,” the Frenchman said and added that other players at his age like Borna Coric, who reached the semi-finals at the ATP 500 event in Dubai, could be a positive example for him as well as other young guns. “This is very positive for us. Borna plays really well and we want to do the same. We want to achieve similar results and his results are kind of an incentive for other young players,” Halys explained.
The tournament’s number two Dzmitry Zhyrmont from Belarus, who has reached the semi-finals in Sondrio last week as well as the final in Astana at the end of January, faced Philip Bester from Canada. The 26-year-old from North Van was in control of today’s encounter, fired nine aces and broke his opponent’s service five times to win his first main draw match of the season 6-2, 6-4 in 64 minutes.
“I’m very pleased to have won in the fashion I did. Winning with that kind of score line, indoors when it’s fast against a good opponent, that is a nice feeling,” Bester was happy afterwards. “Everything is very fast here. The surface doesn’t allow you to think. I grew up playing on courts like these in Canada and my game style is suited for this kind of courts. You have to be patient trying to take advantage of the opportunities you get, because there are not that many during the match,” the world number 483 told about the surface in Trento, which is hard court made by PlayIt. The ITF, however, still refers that the tournament is played on carpet.
“I have learnt throughout the years that setting goals in terms of ranking positions is not the right thing. For me the most important thing is to stay healthy. Of course, I am aware that I have the chance to get my ranking back up where I was before but, you know, it’s just one of those things I cannot control what’s going to happen. So, I just go one match at a time and enjoy the process of playing,” the Canadian said about the fact that he will not have to defend any points until July 2015. Bester had to undergo a hip surgery in November 2013 and wants to get back to his career high position of world number 229.
First of all, Bester is looking forward to Sunday’s climax and hopes to capture his seventh ITF Future career title. “Quentin is a young upcoming player. I haven’t played him before and do not know too much about him. I’ve seen him playing. He is a solid player so tomorrow will be another tough match but it’s a final and you have to give everything you can.”