TUNIS, April 17, 2018
The ATP Challenger Tour has returned to Africa for the 14th edition of the €75,000 Tunis Open held on the clay courts of the Tennis Club de Tunis. Main draw action kicked off on Monday with #NextGenATP Australian Alexei Popyrin battling past Nikola Milojevic of Serbia 4-6, 7-6, 6-3.
The 18-year-old wild card entry won 79 per cent of his first service points, broke his opponent five times and won 12 points more to seal victory in two hours and 31 minutes. Popyrin now awaits the winner of the encounter between No. 2 seed Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia and Germany’s Tobias Kamke.
The players from Portugal also had a successful start into the tournament. Pedro Sousa overcame Sebastian Ofner from Austria 6-4, 4-6, 6-2. The No. 7 seed from Lisbon converted four of his seven break point chances to prevail after one hour and 51 minutes. Sousa will next take on Jurgen Zopp of Estonia, who beat local wild card entry Moez Echargui 6-3, 7-6.
Joao Domingues cruised past World No. 1,941 Mohamed Ali Bellalouna of Tunisia 6-0, 6-0 in only 51 minutes. The 24-year-old Porto resident only lost 30 per cent of the total points played. Domingues will next play either No. 3 seed and local hero Malek Jaziri or Jozef Kovalik from Slovakia.
Top seed Jiri Vesely from the Czech Republic was forced to withdraw from the tournament due to illness. The World No. 66 was scheduled to face Moroccan wild card Lamine Ouahab in the first round.
Photo Gallery (by Brigitte Urban)