POPRAD TATRY, June 21, 2017
Sebastian Ofner caused the upset of the day on Wednesday’s second round matches at the €64,000 Poprad Tatry Challenger. The 21-year-old Austrian knocked out the tournament’s number two Santiago Giraldo of Colombia, rallying 4-6, 6-4, 7-6.
Ofner sent down 12 aces, winning 68 per cent of his first service points to secure victory after two hours and 41 minutes.
“Of course I was a bit surprised but I knew that I will have my chance if I play well. I also needed to stay patient, waiting for my opportunities to go for the shots. I managed to do so pretty well,” Ofner was happy afterwards.
“I chose to compete in Poprad as it was the closest one to Austria. I like it here. The hotel is very good and the courts are not perfect but okay. It is good to play.”
The World No. 224, who captured one ITF Pro Circuit title in Turkey this season, will compete in his first Grand Slam next week at the Wimbledon qualifying.
Next up, however, will be Adam Pavlasek in Friday’s quarterfinals. The seventh seed emerged victorious from the all-Czech-encounter with Vaclav Safranek, winning 3-6, 7-5, 6-4 in two hours and 13 minutes.
Top seed Martin Klizan stays on course at his home tournament but had to fight hard to overcome Serbian qualifier Nikola Cacic. The World No. 46 from Bratislava lost the first set in the tie-break 4-7 but eventually found his rhythm and prevailed 6-7, 7-5, 6-1 in two hours and 28 minutes.
“Nikola played some excellent tennis today, in particular during the first two sets. He hit close to the lines and did not make a lot of unforced errors. I was better prepared at the end,” told Klizan, who will next face Roberto Carballés-Baena from Spain.
Third favourite Laslo Djere also had to come back from a set down. The 22-year-old from Serbia battled past Czech youngster Zdenek Kolar 1-6, 7-5, 7-5. Both players broke serve eight times and Djere even won two points less than his opponent but eventually finished the encounter after two hours and 16 minutes.
Next up for Djere will be compatriot Filip Krajinovic, who beat Attila Balazs from Hungary 7-6, 6-1. In the remaining quarterfinal Cedrik-Marcel Stebe from Germany will take on Elias Ymer of Sweden, who ended the run of local wild card entry Alex Molcan in the final match of the day, winning 6-2, 1-6, 7-6.