Sonego Succeeds Twice, Slides Into Semis in Genova

Lorenzo Sonego (photo: AON Open Challenger)

GENOVA, September 7, 2019 (by Brian Allen)

Playing the equivalent of two matches on Friday at the AON Open Challenger didn’t faze top-seeded Lorenzo Sonego. In fact, he got better with age.

“I played my best match of the tournament,” said the Italian defending champion of his 6-2, 6-4 quarterfinal evening win over No. 6 seed countryman Stefano Travaglia in 86 minutes.

It followed the completion of his rain-delayed, marathon third-round match against No. 16 seed Jiri Vesely of the Czech Republic. That 6-7(6), 7-6(0), 7-5 victory took more than two hours on Friday afternoon alone.

“Vesely is a good player with a good serve, but I tried to play my best for my team and my family,” Sonego said.

Sonego’s opponent in the semifinals will be No. 10 seed Guido Andreozzi of Argentina, who beat No. 4 seed Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany 7-6(6), 6-3 in their quarterfinal contest. The Argentine had never made it past the second round in four prior appearances in Genova.

Kohlschreiber was broken while serving for the first set at 6-5, and Andreozzi converted his fourth set point in the tiebreaker. Andreozzi failed to serve out the match at 5-2 and needed eight match points to book his first semifinal spot since mid-March.

Andreozzi defeated Sonego in their only prior match, on clay in 2016.

Ramos-Vinolas moves on

No. 2 seed Albert Ramos-Vinolas of Spain ground out his 6-2, 6-4 quarterfinal win against fellow clay-court specialist Thiago Monteiro of Brazil, seeded eighth, in one hour, 45 minutes.

“I think I’m playing better now,” Ramos-Vinolas said, mentioning his defeat at the hands of Monteiro earlier this year. “I’m doing more [varied] things on the court now.”

Ramos-Vinolas has 16 wins against three losses on clay since Wimbledon, including a main-tour title in Gstaad, while he improves his career record against Monteiro to 3-1.

His semifinal opponent will be no. 11 seed countryman Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, who beat No. 14 seed Taro Daniel of Japan 6-4, 6-4. Ramos-Vinolas has a victory in their lone matchup, this year in Barcelona.

“He’s young, he plays fast, he doesn’t have anything to lose, so I’m ready to fight for every point,” said Ramos-Vinolas. “It’s always a good opportunity to play in the semifinals here in Genova.”

Ramos-Vinolas won this title in 2014.

Friday Results


(1/WC) Lorenzo Sonego (ITA) def. (6) Stefano Travaglia (ITA) 6-2, 6-4

(10) Guido Andreozzi (ARG) def. (4/WC) Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER) 7-6(6), 6-3

(11) Alejandro Davidovich Fokina (ESP) def. (14) Taro Daniel (JPN) 6-4, 6-4

(2) Albert Ramos-Vinolas (ESP) def. (8) Thiago Monteiro (BRA) 6-2, 6-4

Third Round

(1/WC) Lorenzo Sonego (ITA) def. (16) Jiri Vesely (CZE) 6-7(6), 7-6(0), 7-5

Doubles Semifinal

Ariel Behar (URU)/Gonzalo Escobar (ECU) def. (1) Matwe Middelkoop (NED)/Igor Zelenay (SVK) 6-3, 6-3