TRNAVA, September 26, 2015
Rainy weather changed the schedule of the ARIMEX Challenger Open 2015, but in the end all matches were played. Dutch Robin Haase won two matches, first after tough battle beating Austrian Gerald Melzer in three sets 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 and afterwards he was also successful against Spaniard Albert Montanes, winning 6-2, 6-2. In the Argentine-Croatian semi-final, Horacio Zeballos beat Franko Skugor with the same score line.
For Zeballos, No. 160 in the ATP rankings (career best No. 39), this year’s final in Trnava is a good chance to grab his first Challenger title this season.
Zeballos felt good after the match. “I played well. I do not think about being in the semi-final or the final. Every tournament is difficult. There are many good players here. Last week I was knocked out in quarterfinals in Banja Luka, but I was happy with myself,” said sixth seeded Argentinian, who will play for the title on Sunday at 11.00 with Robin Haase.
Dutch player, No. 69 in ATP rankings at the moment, played two matches in a day, with two hours rest, but in semi-final against Montanes, he looked fresh. He was the better player and after an hour beat his opponent 6-2, 6-2. “From the beginning I played well. I did not do mistakes and I played many winners. I did not feel tired, I felt good. You could have seen that during the game,” the first seed told, who did not have troubles with the difficult weather conditions. “Yesterday it was not easy either. It was windy, rainy, court was very slow. You try to slide on the court and you cannot do it at times. It was difficult for ankles and knees,” mentioned Haase.
A Dutch pair won the doubles title of the ARIMEX Challenger Open 2015. First seeded pair, Wesley Koolhof and Matwe Middelkoop won in the final against Polish-French pair Kamil Majchrzak and Stephane Robert 6-4, 6-2.
“We played the semi-finals today as well. That match was more difficult than the finals. Difficult conditions, windy and with heavy balls. We hope to do the same next week at our next tournament,” said Wesley Koolhof, No. 82 in the ATP doubles ranking. Matwe Middelkoop (No. 83) continued: “Our opponents were good from the back, on the baseline. We needed those points on the net. Our tactics worked.”
The Dutch pair travels to Malaysia for the ATP 250 tournament in Kuala Lumpur. Then they have Challengers in France. What are their plans for the remaining season? “Our first goal was to be in Top 100. We are there. Now we want to play at the Australian Open 2016 and then step by step into the top 50.“