PANAMÁ CITY, April 3, 2018
The ATP Challenger Tour has returned to Central America this week for the fifth edition of the $50,000 Visit Panamá Tennis Cup, held on clay at the Centro de Alto Rendimiento Fred Maduro. Blaz Rola of Slovenia headlined Monday’s first round action, knocking out #NextGenATP US-American and No. 7 seed Reilly Opelka 6-3, 6-1.
Rola, who finished runner-up to Spaniard Pere Riba in 2014, was rock solid on his first serve, winning 92 per cent of the points and didn’t face a break point to advance in only 54 minutes. The 27-year-old now awaits the winner of the encounter between US-American wild card entry Sebastian Korda and German qualifier Peter Torebko.
Yannick Hanfmann opened his title bid with a 6-4, 5-7, 6-3 victory over Rubin Statham of New Zealand. The No. 3 seed from Germany fired 14 aces and broke his opponent’s service three times to prevail after two hours and 16 minutes. Hanfmann will next take on Facundo Bagnis of Argentina.
Veteran Carlos Berlocq emerged victorious from the all-Argentine-clash with Federico Coria 6-4, 6-1. The 35-year-old from Buenos Aires capitalized on six of his 10 break point opportunities to finish the match in on one hour and 37 minutes. Next up for Berlocq will be either Pedro Sakamoto of Brazil or Italian Alessandro Basso.
Top seed Dusan Lajovic of Serbia, who lifted his sixth ATP Challenger trophy in Guadeloupe last Sunday, withdrew from the tournament. He will be replaced by lucky loser Felipe Mantilla from Colombia. Two-time champion Rogerio Dutra Silva will remain the highest ranked player in the singles draw. The World No. 113 from Brazil will open his title defence against US-American Evan Song.