ORTISEI, October 9, 2017
Main draw action of the €64,000 Sparkasse Challenger Val Gardena kicked off on Monday at the Tennis Club Ortisei with three Italian players battling their way into the second round.
Lorenzo Sonego knocked out the tournament’s second seed Norbert Gombos of Slovakia, saving four match points in the second set to secure a 2-6, 7-5, 6-4 victory. The wild card entry from Torino was 2-6, 2-5 down before he won five games in a row to turn the match in his favour. Sonego fired 11 aces, winning 74 per cent of his first service points to prevail after exactly two hours of play.
The World No. 364 will next challenge the winner of the encounter between Matteo Viola, who qualified for the main draw alongside Germans Tim Puetz, Marc Sieber and Kevin Krawietz, or Tristan Lamasine of France.
Sonego will be joined in the second round by fellow Italian Matteo Donati. The wild card entry rallied from a set down to overcome Spanish teenager and #NextGenATP player Nicola Kuhn 6-7, 7-6, 6-4.Donati won the match in two hours and seven minutes to await Stefano Napolitano next.
The defending champion from Italy survived Marton Fucsovics from Hungary, rallying 4-6, 6-4, 6-4. Napolitano came back from a 4-6, 1-4 deficit, hitting 11 aces and gaining four breaks to seal victory in one hour and 42 minutes.
The Italian trio will be joined in the second round by Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert, who defeated Laurynas Grigelis from Lithuania 6-3, 6-4 in 58 minutes. The fourth seed will either meet compatriot Kenny de Schepper or Ricardas Berankis.