ORTISEI, November 4, 2016
Sad news for the Sparkassen ATP Challenger Val Gardena, as the organizers of the €64,000 event announced Friday that defending champion Ricardas Berankis and 2016 runner-up Rajeev Ram will not compete at next week’s biggest and most important tournament in South Tyrol.
Berankis is struggling with a hip injury and decided not to play. “I am very sorry, that I won’t be able to compete in Ortisei this year. I have felt problems with my hip for several months. My doctor advised me to rest this week in order to get fit again. I hope to see you soon and wish you all the best,” the 26-year-old from Lithuania told the tournament’s organizers. Berankis, the current world number 76, would have been the tournament’s top seed.
Rajeev Ram qualified for the ATP World Tour Finals in London, teaming up with South-African Raven Klaasen in the doubles competition from 13 to 20 November, and decided not play the week ahead of the season finale. Marton Fucsovics from Hungary and Germany’s Maximilian Marterer also withdrew from the tournament. Czech youngster Zdenek Kolar, Alexander Bublik from Russia and Marc Sieber from Germany made it to the main draw now, as well as Italian Lorenzo Sonego, who had been previously awarded a wild card by the Italian Tennis Federation.