SZCZECIN, September 18, 2015
Artem Smirnov remains unstoppable on Day 5 of the € 106,500 Pekao Szczecin Open.
The Ukrainian, who had to battle through the qualifying advanced to his first semi-finals on the ATP Challenger Tour through a 3-6, 6-1, 7-5 victory over fifth seed Iῆigo Cervantes. The 27-year-old withstood 13 aces and rallied back from 3-5 down in the final set to eventually close the match after two hours and two minutes.
Smirnov will take on Marco Cecchinato next. The fourth-seeded Italian overcame Renzo Olivo, winning 6-2, 6-7, 4-6. Cecchinato won 74% of his first service points and converted five of his 11 break points to seal victory in one hour and 49 minutes to reach his second semi-finals in a row.
Second upset of the day was caused by Jan-Lennard Struff. The 25-year-old German, who has only reached one semi-finals this season, knocked out top-seed Pablo Carreῆo-Busta with a 6-1, 7-6 victory. Struff fired eight aces and won 87% of his service points to prevail in 70 minutes taking on another Spaniard in the semis.
Last week’s champion from Genova, Nicolas Almagro, continues his run by winning his eighth match in row. He beat third seed Filip Krajinovic 7-5, 6-1. The former world number 9 didn’t face a break point and converted three of his own to seal victory in 67 minutes.