SEGOVIA, August 3, 2015
The first four main draw matches at the 30th edition of the Open Castillo y León ATP Challenger took place on Monday in El Espinar.
Qualifier Georgi Rumenov Payakov defeated Yunseong Chung, winning 4-6, 6-1, 6-3. The 25-year-old from Madrid won 62% of his first service points to seal victory in one hour and 48 minutes.
“It was a difficult match against a tough opponent but I am happy that I was able to come back after I had lost the opening set,” Rumenov Payakov told after he claimed his first victory in the main draw on the ATP Challenger Tour. “It is something different playing here compared to the ITF Future Circuit. It is great that I made it into my first main draw at this level and I was pretty nervous during the opening set. I am looking forward to my next match and maybe I will be able to improve.” Rumenov Payakov will meet the winner of the match between top-seed Marcel Granollers and Caio Zampieri.
Another qualifier also advanced to the second round when Egor Gerasimov dismissed Hiroki Moriya, winning 6-4, 7-5. The world number 379 from Minsk won 74% of his first service points and closed the match after one hour and 25 minutes.
“It was a difficult match, in particular playing at this altitude. It was also pretty windy but in general I am pleased with the tournament, as the people are very friendly,” Gerasimov told.
Eight seed Alexander Kudryavtsev and semi-finalist in El Espinar in 2014 beat Maxim Dubarenco, leading 6-2, 1-0 before the Belarussian was forced to retire due to injury after only 35 minutes.
Marco Chiudinelli cruised past Spanish wild card Francisco Adolf Blanco Paris. The 33-year-old Swiss didn’t face a break point and capitalized on five of his own to end the match after 48 minutes.
“The first match is always difficult. You also have to adjust to the altitude but when you are able to get used to it, you are able to even play better the next rounds,” Chiudinelli said
The tournament’s two top-seeds had a practice session on Monday afternoon before they will step into action on Tuesday. World number 82 and second favourite in El Espinar Dustin Brown told: “I couldn’t play that much but the conditions seem to be pretty quick due to the altitude. I try to have another practice session tomorrow ahead of my opening match. I hope that I will have a good day, playing well in singles as well as in doubles.” Brown will face Frederico Ferreira Silva and will team up with Marco Chiudinelli taking on the Skupski brothers.
“I have come to El Espinar for the first time but I heard good things about the tournament and playing at the altitude favours my game,” the German said. “I do not really know my opponents and I haven’t played them before. I hope that the altitude also supports my service and I will try to play as good as I can.”
Top-seed Marcel Granollers said: “Playing at home is always great. I have good memories with the tournament. It helped me to do my first steps on the Tour and it is a pleasure and very special to come back. The tournament will not be easy, as a lot of great players are competing here and the conditions are pretty tough.”