SEGOVIA, August 7, 2015
The last remaining local player in the draw headlined the action on quarterfinals Friday at the Open Castilla y León ATP Challenger in El Espinar.
Marcel Granollers defeated Yannick Mertens, winning 6-2, 6-4. The Spanish top-seed fired nine aces and saved the only break point he faced to close the match after one hour and 22 minutes.
“One set and a half, I played very well. I showed my best tennis. In the following, I didn’t capitalize on my chances to close the match,” Granollers told. “Mertens has a flat and direct game, which is difficult to play at this type of surface here. But I served well throughout the match, which helped me to prevail.”
Granollers will take on Evgeny Donskoy in the semi-finals. The 25-year-old emerged victorious from the all-Russian-affair, winning 6-4, 6-4 against Konstantin Kravchuk. Donsky won 88% of his first service points and broke his opponent’s serve three times to seal victory in one hour and 13 minutes.
“I am very pleased with the victory and my level of play today. Facing Marcel in the semis will be very difficult, as he is a great player. I need to use my chances,” Donskoy told.
In the longest match of the day, Marco Chiudinelli defeated Belarussian qualifier Egor Gerasimov, winning 6-3, 5-7, 7-5. The 33-year-old Swiss won 72% of his first service points and converted five of his eight break points to prevail after two hours and nine minutes.
“It was a difficult match. I served very well in the first set and dominated the match. It was fine until 6-3, 4-3, when I actually should have closed the match but then things changed. My service became worse and I lost the set. In the end I was a bit lucky and I am happy to win the match,” Chiudinella was relieved afterwards.
Chiudinelli will face Connor Smith, who knocked off fifth seed Mirza Basic. The world number 242 from the United States rallied back from a set down, winning 1-6, 6-2, 7-5. Basic saved 13 of the 18 break points he faced but had the better ending in the decisive moments to finish the match after two hour and two minutes.
“Everything is fine. I played very well but I am a bit tired. I do not really know my next opponent. I haven’t seen him playing a lot, but I think it will be a tough match,” Smith told.