ORTISEI, November 8, 2016
The top seeds headlined Tuesday’s first round action of the €64,000 ATP Challenger Val Gardena, held at the Tennis Club in Ortisei. The tournament’s number one and 2012 champion Benjamin Becker opened his title bid with a 6-4, 6-1 win over Belgian qualifier Julien Dubail.
The world number 122 from Germany lost his serve once but broke his opponent five times to advance in 68 minutes. Becker will next face Lorenzo Sonego, who emerged victorious from the all-Italian-affair with Luca Vanni 6-3, 7-6. Sonego seems to feel comfortable on the fast surface and also reached Round of 32 last year, losing to eventual runner-up Rajeev Ram.
Second favourite Evgeny Donskoy also had a successful start into the tournament. The 26-year-old Russian fought past Polish qualifier Andriej Kapas, rallying 6-7, 7-5, 7-6. Donskoy withstood 10 aces, hitting seven of his own to prevail after two hours and 44 minutes. Next up for the world number 118 will be the in-from German Kevin Krawietz, who ousted Ramkumar Ramanathan from India 6-4, 6-4. Krawietz entered the main draw in Ortisei as special exempt, as he reached the stage of the final four in Eckental last week.
Alessandro Giannessi, the tournament’s number three, battled past Alexander Bublik from Russia, winning 7-5, 4-6, 7-6. The 26-year-old from Italy withstood 25 aces, sending down nine of his own to advance in two hours and four minutes. Giannessi will next play either Spaniard Adrian Menendez-Maceiras or Italian wild card Matteo Berrettini.
Fourth seed Mirza Basic overcame Michal Przysiezny from Poland 7-6, 4-6, 6-4. The 25-year-old from Bosnia and Herzegovina won 51 per cent of the total points to seal victory in just under two hours of play. Basic will next play French qualifier Yannick Jankovits, who beat Marc Sieber from Germany 6-2, 7-6.