ORTISEI, October 13, 2017
Matteo Donati caused the upset of the tournament by knocking out local favourite Andreas Seppi in the quarterfinals of the €64,000 Sparkasse Challenger Val Gardena at the Tennis Club Ortisei on Friday evening.
The 22-year-old Italian fired 13 aces, winning 78 per cent of his first service points to prevail in two tie-breaks 7-6, 7-6 after one hour and 37 minutes.
“I did a couple of mistakes from the baseline and couldn’t really find my rhythm. I was also a bit shaky during the decisive points,” Seppi was disappointed afterwards. The third seed, who lifted the trophy here i 2013 and 2014, had 11 break point opportunities but could only capitalize on one of them.
“Of course I wanted to win the tournament again but it didn’t work out. I am going through a pretty tough time at the moment but I will continue to try my best.” Next up for Seppi will be the the ATP 250 Kremlin Cup in Moscow.
“It was a tough match. It’s not easy to play against Andreas at his home tournament. A few years ago, he beat in straight sets and so I am pretty happy to win this match,” Donati told Tennis TourTalk. The Alessandria native will appear in his first semi-final at ATP Challenger level since Manerbio last year.
“This means a lot to me! I have had a pretty difficult year so far with long injuries. This is my first tournament on hard court and it was also a test for my back. I was able to play three tough matches and I am still feeling good. I like the fast surface here and I am looking forward to tomorrow.”
Donati will next take on fellow Italian wild card entry Lorenzo Sonego, who knocked off the tournament’s number seven Oscar Otte from Germany 6-1, 6-4. The 22-year-old Torino native took the opening set in only 20 minutes and capitalized on all of his four break points to finish the encounter in just under one hour of play.
Tim Pütz will be the first qualifier in the semi-finals at Ortisei since Jan Hernych in 2014. The 29-year-old German battled past Viktor Galovic of Croatia 6-4, 6-7, 6-2 in one hour and 46 minutes to win his sixth match this week in Val Gardena.
Pütz will next challenge Pierre-Hugues Herbert, the last seed standing in the singles draw. The fourth seed from France overcame German qualifier Marc Sieber 7-6, 3-6, 6-3. Herbert won 51 per cent of the total points played to secure victory in one hour and 59 minutes.