POPRAD TATRY, June 20, 2017
Slovakian teenager Alex Molcan earned the biggest win of his young career, beating compatriot and the tournament’s number five Andrej Martin 5-7, 6-2, 6-4 in the first round of the €64,000 Poprad Tatry Challenger on a sunny and hot Tuesday afternoon.
The 19-year-old, who is making his sixth main draw appearance at ATP Challenger level and entered the main draw with a wild card, prevailed after two hours and 37 minutes. Martin’s eighth double fault in the seventh game of the final set gifted the Slovakian leftie the decisive break. Molcan served the match out in the following to meet Swedish youngster Elias Ymer in the second round.
“I am very happy for this win. I know Andrej Martin very well, we often practise together a I knew how to play against him. He was favourite, but I believed in myself. So this is the biggest win in my career, never before I have beaten a higher ranked player,” the World No. 547 was pleased afterwards.
Top seed Martin Klizan was also in action, taking on with Dominik Sproch another Slovakian wild card entry. The 27-year-old from Bratislava was in total control of the encounter, winning 6-1, 6-2 in only 66 minutes. Klizan will next take on Serbian qualifier Nikola Cacic.
Third favourite Laslo Djere eased past Mohamed Safwat from Egypt 6-3, 6-2 to open his title bid. The World No. 121 from Serbia saved all of the three break points he faced, converting three of his own to advance in one hour and 23 minutes. Next up for Djere will be Czech youngster Zdenek Kolar.
2015 champion Adam Pavlasek won 79 per cent of his first service points against local wild card Peter Vajda to prevail 6-2, 6-1. The encounter lasted 69 minutes and the seventh seed from the Czech Republic will next play compatriot Vaclav Safranek.