PORTOROZ, August 12, 2015
The tennis party for the locals continued in the second round on Day 3 of the Tilia Slovenia Open in Portoroz.
Grega Zemlja knocked off fourth seed Lukas Lacko, winning 6-0, 6-2 in the night session on centre court. The 28-year-old from Kranj, who also emerged victorious from the two previous meetings with the Slovakian, didn’t face a break point and won 85% of his first service points to prevail after 58 minutes.
Zemlja will face eighth seed Mirza Basic next. The 24-year-old from Bosnia-Herzegovina defeated Turkish wild card Cem Ilkel, winning 6-2, 6-2 in one hour and two minutes.
Another local wild card made it to the stage of the final eight, when Aljaz Radinski won his only second career match on the ATP Challenger Tour. The 20-year-old Slovenian beat French lucky loser Jonathan Eysseric, winning 7-6, 6-3. Radinski converted five of his nine break points and hit three aces to start his celebration after one hour and 26 minutes.
Radinski will face sixth seed Luca Vanni next. The 30-year-old Italian had to problems to dismiss Germain Gigounon in one hour and 14 minutes, winning 6-1, 6-3.
The tournament’s favourites also advanced to the quarterfinals. Second seed Paolo Lorenzi extended his winning streak on the ATP Challenger Tour to seven match wins through a 6-3, 6-4 victory over David Guez. The 33-year-old Italian, who claimed his 14th career title in Cortina last Sunday, saved two of the seven break points he faced but capitalized on eight of his own to close the match after one hour and 28 minutes.
Lorenzi set a first tour clash with Alexander Kudryavtsev. The world number 177 from Russia took out seventh seed Thiemo de Bakker, winning 6-7, 6-2, 6-2. Kudryavtsev won 69% of his first service points and converted nine break points to seal victory in one hour and 57 minutes.
Evgeny Donskoy, who lifted the trophy in El Espinar last weekend and took out Portoroz’s top-seed Marcel Granollers on Tuesday, also gained his seventh consecutive match win. The world number 138 from Russian overcame Calvin Hemery, winning 6-4, 3-6, 6-3. Donskoy fired seven aces and won 74% of his first service points to prevail in one hour and 57 minutes.
The in-form-Russian will take on fifth seed Norbert Gombos for the first time. The 24-year-old Slovakian defeated Peter Gojowczyk, winning 6-4, 6-3. Gombos won 79% of his first service points and lost his service only once, converting three break point chances of his own to advance after 59 minutes.
“I served and returned pretty well today. In the beginning of the match, I was a bit slower and he killed everything. I was without any chance but then I broke his service, played better and more aggressively. That was the key in the end,” Gombos told Tennis TourTalk and added that he feels comfortable in Portoroz.
“I had a lot of time to prepare for the hard court season. I lost in Kitzbühel in the first round of the qualification, so I had one week off ahead of the tournament here. I want to go to the US-Open, where I want to play the qualification. So, I am really glad that I could win two matches on hard court already,” the world number 128 from Bratislava said. It has been the most successful year for Gombos so far, as he already claimed his first two ATP Challenger titles this season.
“Winning these two events in Cherbourg and Prague were really good moments for me, because last year I played five finals without claiming one title. In Prague, it was also very special, when I beat Albert Montanes, a former top 20 player, in the longest final of the year,” Gombos told and is looking forward to the quarterfinals on Thursday.
“Of course, it will be a tough match tomorrow but I will try to win and will fight for every ball. I hope that my game will be good and that I feel comfortable on the court.”