MONS, October 6, 2015
In the lone event on the 2015 ATP Challenger schedule in Belgium, home hope and last year’s runner-up Steve Darcis leads the entry list of the € 106,500 Ethias Trophy in Mons. All eight seeds are ranked inside the top 100. Second favourite Jerzy Janowicz, who reached Sunday’s final in Orleans, withdrew from the tournament due to a left knee injury. His spot will be taken by Russian qualifier Karen Khachanov.
On Monday the final round of the qualifying took place as well as four first round matches of the main draw. Lukas Lacko made a successful start, winning 6-3, 6-4 against Andrey Golubev. The 27-year-old Slovak withstood eight aces, saved all two break points he faced and converted two of his own to prevail in 67 minutes.
With Norbert Gombos another player from Slovakia advanced to the second round. The world number 123 from Bratislava defeated Luca Vanni, winning 6-3, 6-4. Gombos didn’t lose his service and won 79% of his first service points to seal victory in 66 minutes.
James Ward celebrated another straight sets victory, winning 7-6, 6-4 over John-Patrick Smith. The 28-year-old British was solid on his second service, winning 69% of the points and closed the match after one hour and 41 minutes.
Andrea Arnaboldi had to go the distance to overcome Belgian wild Card Clement Geens 4-6, 7-6, 6-1. The world number 157 from Italy hit seven aces and won 89% of his first service points, convertign five of his nine break point chances to finish the encounter after almost two hours of play.