MURCIA, April 8, 2019
Six Spanish players advanced to the second round on the opening day of the Murcia Open. Veteran Tommy Robredo headlined Monday’s action at the €46,600 ATP Challenger clay-court event with a 6-2, 2-6, 6-3 win over Danilo Petrovic of Serbia.
Robredo, former World No. 5, saved eight of the 10 break points he faced, capitalizing on three of his own six chances to prevail after one hour and 46 minutes. The 36-year-old set a “battle of the generations” with German teenager Rudolf Molleker, who is seeded ninth. Robredo won the only previous meeting between the two at the ATP Challenger in Eckental on carpet two years ago.
Bernabé Zapata Miralles also had to go the distance in his match against Johan Tatlot of France. The 22-year-old Spaniard won 54 per cent of the total points played to secure a 6-2, 1-6, 6-1 victory in one hour and 26 minutes. Next up for the Valencia native will be No. 8 seed Arthur de Greef from Belgium.
The other local players in action had less problems to advance. Carlos Boluda-Purkiss cruised past ITF-entry Ivan Nedelko of Russia 6-2, 6-0 to face sixth favourite Salvatore Caruso of Italy. Roberto Ortega-Olmedo defeated 18-year-old wild card entry Carlos Lopez Montagud 6-4, 6-1, challenging No. 12 seed Enrique López-Pérez from Spain in the second round. Oriol Roca Batalla benefited from the retirement of Pere Riba, who played his first Challenger match since April last year, leading 6-4, 4-6, 5-3.
💥 Comienza la acción en el ATP Challenger Murcia Open 🏆 Primeros partidos en juego! 🎾 pic.twitter.com/HIIzdlbU2M
— Murcia Club de Tenis (@MurciaClubTenis) 8. April 2019
Top seed Pedro Sousa of Portugal will open his title bid against Spanish wild card entry Gerard Granollers, who eased past compatriot David Perez Sanz 6-3, 6-2. The tournament’s No. 2, Roberto Carballés Baena, will meet Federico Gaio of Italy, who beat Tobias Kamke from Germany 6-1, 6-4.
Murcia natives Nicolas Almagro, who announced his retirement from professional tennis earlier in the day, and 17-year-old Carlos Alcaraz Garfia will start their home campaign on Tuesday afternoon. The teenager will play Gleb Sakharov of France and Almagro will face Mario Vilella Martínez of Spain.