Carballes Baena Starts Title Defence At Sanchez-Casal Challenger

Roberto Carballes Baena

EL PRAT DE LLOBREGAT, October 1, 2019

Roberto Carballes Baena began his title defence at the Sanchez-Casal Head by NH Hotel Group with a 6-4, 6-2 win against fellow Spaniard Javier Barranco Cosano on Tuesday afternoon.

The World No. 76 capitalized on five of his eight break point chances to advance to the third round after one hour and 24 minutes. “It was a tough match with a couple of long rallies. The courts are very slow which makes it hard to hit winners but I am pleased to reach the next round,” Carballes Baena said.

The top seed of the €46,600 ATP Challenger clay-court event will next take on Jozef Kovalik of Slovakia, who battled past No. 13 seed Kimmer Coppejans of Belgium 2-6, 6-3, 6-3 after two hours and 19 minutes.

Filip Horansky caused the upset of the day by knocking out Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, the tournament’s No. 3. The 26-year-old from Slovakia won 53 per cent of the total points played to secure a 6-2, 4-6, 7-6(0) victory in just under two hours of play. Horansky dominated the tie-break of the final set, which led to an unorthodox ending.

“Conditions here are a little bit tough because it is windy and tough to control the ball but I am that I won and I will focus on the next round,” said Horansky, who awaits the winner of the encounter between No. 14 seed Alessandro Giannessi of Italy and Russian Ivan Nedelko.

Italian veteran Paolo Lorenzi also fell in the second round. The No. 6 seed suffered a 6-4, 1-6, 6-2 defeat against Spanish wild card entry Jaume Pla Malfeito.

The World No. 530 converted five of his six break point chances to prevail after one hour and 59 minutes. Barcelona native Pla Malfeito advanced to third round of an ATP Challenger for the first time facing No. 10 seed Filippo Baldi.

“It’s an incredible feeling,” Pla Malfeito was happy afterwards. “It was very tough and I am very pleased to beat such an experienced player. I am very pleased.”