BARLETTA, April 11, 2017
The ATP Challenger Tour has returned to Italy for the €43,000 Citta’ Della Disfida Open held on outdoor red clay at the Circolo Tennis Barletta. The first round of the singles competition concluded on an action packed Tuesday with the tournament’s two top seeds prevailing.
Number one favourite Gastao Elias fought past Italian wild card Matteo Berrettini, rallying 4-6, 6-3, 6-4. The World No. 97 from Portugal won 76 per cent of his first service points and converted three of his 13 break point chances to seal victory in two hours and nine minutes. Elias will next take on Stefano Napolitano, who overcame fellow Italian Stefano Travaglia 4-6, 7-6, 7-6 in a more than three hours battle.
Aljaz Bedene, the tournament’s second seed and champion from last week’s Verrazzano Open in Sophia Antipolis, also made his way into the second round. The World No. 76 from Great Britain defeated Marco Trungellitti of Argentina 6-4, 5-7, 6-4. Bedene broke serve seven times to prevail in two and a half hours, facing Matteo Donati of Italy next.
Defending champion Elias Ymer, who celebrated a 4-1 Davis Cup victory with Sweden over Turkey as well as his 21st birthday last weekend, lost his opening match against a tough opponent in person of Lukas Rosol.
The 31-year-old from the Czech Repubic sent down eight aces, winning 74 per cent of his first service points to gain his second win over the Swedish youngster in as many meetings between the two. The encounter lasted one hour and 28 minutes. Next up for Rosol will be Enrique López-Pérez from Spain, who beat Portuguese Pedro Sousa 6-1, 4-6, 7-5 in two hours and 29 minutes.