PORTOROZ, August 7, 2018
Cem Ilkel has made a successful start into the main draw of the Zavaraovalnica Sava Slovenia Open. In Monday’s night session of the €64,000 ATP Challenger hard-court event, the 22-year-old from Turkey edged out Lukas Rosol from the Czech Republic 6-3, 7-5.
Ilkel won 80 per cent of his first service points and converted six of his nine break point opportunities to advance in one hour and 15 minutes.
“This is my fourth time here in Portoroz, obviously I love coming back here. It’s a good atmosphere, everyone is happy and positive. That makes you wanna stay here as long as you can. I enjoy my time here, which helps me to play my best tennis,” Ilkel told Tennis TourTalk after his win.
Ilkel played Davis Cup with Turkey against Slovenia a couple of months ago here in Portoroz. The World No. 250 from Istanbul clinched two ITF Pro Circuit titles this year and wants to continue his good season.
“My goal is to break inside the top 200. If I am able to do so, I will have the chance to stay there for a while. Then I can play qualification into ATP-events or Grand Slams. For that I have to win titles or advance to the finals of big Challengers like this. It will be tough, but that’s what I work for.”
Next up for Ilkel will be an Italian, as he will meet the winner of the encounter between No. 4 seed Gianluigi Quinzi and Gian Marco Moroni.
Novak falls, Kamke moves on
Aldi Setkic caused the upset of day by knocking out No. 2 seed Dennis Novak from Austria. The World No. 298 from Bosnia and Herzegovina won 6-4, 6-2 in 69 minutes.
Tobias Kamke eased past Slovenian wild card entry and World No. 1695 Aljaz Radinski 6-0, 6-2. The 32-year-old German won 68 per cent of the total points played to advance in one hour and five minutes.
Kamke will next take on the winner of the encounter between No. 8 seed Andrea Arnaboldi of Italy and local wild card Tom Kocevar-Desman.
Earlier in the day, the quartet of Markus Eriksson from Sweden, Frederik Nielsen of Denmark, Altug Celikbilek of Turkey and Russian Aslav Karatsev passed the final round of the qualifying to clinch a spot in the main draw.
Rola forced to withdraw
Slovenian home favourite Blaz Rola, who was scheduled to face defending champion Sergiy Stakhovsky from the Ukraine in the first round, had to pull out of his home tournament.
“I started my preparation here in Portoroz at the beginning of the week but began to feel bad during practices, as I felt dehydrated and I didn’t have an appetite afterwards. Later I also felt like this off the court,” Rola told Tennis TourTalk.
“On Wednesday, we went to the hospital to do some basic tests and the scannings didn’t look so good due to hypercalcemia. That’s why I had to pull out here and had to see the specialists. The health is on the first place, tennis is only second.
“Unfortunately this is a home tournament. It looks like things come together when it comes to this event here but I am confident to have some successful tournaments at home in the future.”
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