SZCZECIN, September 17, 2015
Ten players were looking for a spot in the quarterfinals on Day 4 of the € 106,500 ATP Challenger Pekao Szczecin Open.
Artem Smirnov caused the upset of the day, when he knocked out second seed Robin Haase through a 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 victory. The Ukrainian qualifier fired seven aces and won 66% of his first service points to close the match after two hour and eight minutes.
“I have played the worst match for years. I am very disappointed,” Haase told afterwards.
Smirnov, ranked on 407th position has made it to his first quarterfinals on Challenger level since June 2014, when he reached the round of the final eight in Milan.
Back then, Smirnov eventually lost to Pere Riba in three sets and in Szczecin on Friday, he will face with Iῆigo Cervantes another Spaniard. The fifth seed defeated Jan Mertl, winning 6-3, 6-4. Cervantes served big, hitting seven aces and didn’t face a break point to seal victory in one hour and 17 minutes.
Third seed Filip Krajinovic overcame Federico Gaio, winning 7-6, 4-6, 6-2. The world number 99 from Serbia had a tough battle with the Italian, which finally ended after two hours and eight minutes.
Krajinovic will take on sixth favourite Nicolas Almagro next. The 30-year-old Spaniard, champion of last week’s ATP Challenger in Genova, had to rally back from a set down to beat Filippo Volandri 4-6, 7-5, 6-1. Almagro fired 12 aces and won 76% of his first service points to finish the encounter after one hour and 47 minutes.
The tournament’s number four and runner-up from Genova, Marco Cecchinato is the last remaining Italian in the draw. The 22-year-old from Sicily cruised past Julien Cagnina, winning 6-1, 6-2 in only 40 minutes. Ceccchinato didn’t lose his service and won 89% of his second service points.
The Italian will face Renzo Olivo in the quarterfinals. The 21-year-old Argentine defeated Polish wild card Pawel Cias 6-3, 6-1. Olivo saved the only two break points he faced and capitalized on four of his own to advance after 62 minutes.