Popko Powers Past Haerteis Indoors At L’Aquila Challenger

Dmitry Popko

L’AQUILA, August 24, 2019

The match between Carlos Taberner and Aleksandar Vukic was the only quarterfinal, which could be finished outdoors on a rain-interrupted Saturday at the Internazionali Di Tennis Citta’ Dell’Aquila. The 22-year-old Spaniard defeated the tournament’s No. 9 from Australia 6-3, 6-1 after only 51 minutes in the morning.


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@carlostaberner is the first player to book his spot in the SF @meftennisevents in l’Aquila. 6-3 6-1 against Aleksandar Vukic.

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All other singles matches were moved indoors to the Sports Area L’Aquila in Monticchio to escape the bad weather in the Abruzzo region. On a fast synthetic turf, which usually can be used under any weather conditions, Andrea Collarini emerged victorious from the all-Argentine battle with Francisco Cerundolo, winning 2-6, 6-2, 7-6(6). The 27-year-old lefty won eight points more than his opponent to prevail after two hours and seven minutes. Collarini will next take on Taberner.

Later in the day, Dmitry Popko continued his good run of form by beating Johannes Haerteis of Germany 7-6(8), 6-2. The World No. 262 from Kazakhstan, who clinched seven trophies on the ITF World Tennis Tour this season, capitalized on three of his five break point chances to secure victory in one hour and 21 minutes.

“We learned only about one hour ahead of the match about the conditions,” Popko told Tennis TourTalk. “I was a bit nervous in the first set, as I didn’t know how to adapt and I played against a left-handed guy, who plays well on fast surfaces. After a slow start, I adjusted my game and started to play better. It was a tight first set but it was easier in the second. Now I am happy to be in the semis and next I will focus on the upcoming match. As this is an outdoor tournament, I hope it will take place outside.”

Popko will challenge top seed Andrej Martin of Slovkakia in the semi-finals. The World No. 137 rallied past Guilherme Clezar of Brazil 3-6, 7-6(2), 6-4 in the last match of the day. Martin struck six aces, winning 68 per cent of his first-service points to prevail after two hours and nine minutes.

Sunday’s singles semi-finals at the Circolo Tennis L’Aquila will start at 9:30 am followed by the doubles final and the singles title match.