PROSTEJOV, June 6, 2017
The €127,000 Unicredit Czech Open held at the Aréal TK Prostejov has returned to the ATP Challenger calendar this week, celebrating its 24th consecutive year. All eight seeds are ranked inside the Top 100 and first round matches concluded on Tuesday.
The tournament’s number one Martin Klizan opened his title bid with a comfortable 7-5, 6-2 win over 18-year-old Czech wild card entry Patrik Rikl. The World No. 50 saved four of the five break points he faced, converting four of his own to finish the encounter in one hour and 29 minutes.
Next up for Klizan will be Swedish qualifier Markus Eriksson, who dismissed Gerald Melzer of Austria 7-6, 6-4 in one hour and 29 minutes.
Second seed Jiri Vesely from the Czech Republic, champion in Prostejov in 2014 and 2015, eased past Dmitry Popko of Kazakhstan, winning 6-4, 6-0. The 23-year-old local favourite sent down six aces and capitalized on all of his five break point chances to advance in 66 minutes.
“I still need to play better than today,” told Vesely, who came to the press conference accompanied by a dog named Leo. The 23-year-old battled through the qualifying at Roland Garros and advanced to the third round eventually stopped by Roberto Baustista-Agut.
Vesely goes on to face Marcelo Arevalo. The 26-year-old from El Salvador defeated Sunday’s tournament winner from Vicenza, Marton Fucsovics, who finished runner-up in Prostejov last year, 6-2, 6-3. Arevalo won 60 of the 107 total points played to secure victory in one hour and six minutes.
Tennys Sandgren knocked out third favourite Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia, winning 6-2, 6-4. The World No. 115 from the United States won 75 per cent of his first service points and broke serve five times to prevail in one hour and 22 minutes. Sandgren will next take on German qualifier Kevin Krawietz.
Fourth seed Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan also fell in the opening round, as in-form-Chilean Nicolas Jarry emerged victorious from the 69 minutes encounter 7-5, 6-2 . The 21-year-old from Santiago will next play Federico Delbonis of Argentina.