RENNES, January 22, 2020
Top seed Sergiy Stakhovsky made a strong start to his Open Blot Rennes campaign on Wednesday, defeating Nino Serdarusic of Croatia 7-6(3), 6-4 to reach the third round.
At Le Liberté Arena in Rennes, the 34-year-old from the Ukraine sent down eight aces and won 86 per cent of his first-service points to secure victory in one hour and 48 minutes.
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“The serve was key today,” Stakhovsky told Tennis TourTalk afterwards. “We both had our ups and downs during the match and I struggled a bit with the surface, which is very sharp and the ball takes all the spin. It’s very hard to have some clean shots. If you want to stay in the rally you have to move a bit backwards, which is not my best position on the court but I have to adapt.”
The World No. 153 opened his season in Melbourne, where he fell to Alejandro Tabilo from Chile in the second round of qualifying to the Australian Open.
“Australia wasn’t that fast this year and the surface here is more tricky, also a bit uneven at some point. I arrived at Rennes pretty late on Monday. I had two days at home spending some time with the kids and the entire family. The jet lag has already gone and I am sleeping pretty well.”
Next up for Stakhovsky will be No. 13 seed Tobias Kamke. The top-ranked player in the capital city of Brittany could only win one of the five previous meetings with the German. “We played last year in Quimper and I lost 7-6 in the third. It is always tough to play against him. He is a very good athlete and likes to play at one pace. He returns well and doesn’t give you a lot of free balls. It is going to be a hell of match.”
Donelly upsets Otte
Meanwhile over at Saint-Gregoire, No. 2 seed Oscar Otte fell in his opening match. The World No. 163 from Germany lost 6-4, 6-2 to French qualifier Corentin Denolly in only 50 minutes. Otte competed in his third tournament of the season. Following a second-round exit at the Canberra Challenger, held in Bendigo, he lost his opening match of the qualifying to the Australian Open against Mathias Bourgue.
😃 Un match très sérieux aujourd’hui et une très belle perf contre un joueur bien mieux classé que moi (160e) et tête de serie numéro #2 du tournoi !
À demain pour la suite en 8e contre le britannique @JamesWardtennis ! 👊🏻
— Corentin Denolly (@CorentinDenolly) January 22, 2020
“A very serious match today and a very good performance against a player much better ranked than me (160th) and number 2 in the tournament,” Denolly posted on Twitter and will next take on James Ward. The 32-year-old Briton fought past No. 13 seeded Russian Pavel Kotov 6-3, 6-7(5), 6-3 in one hour and 51 minutes.
Petrovic advances, Lacko falls
Later in the afternoon, Antoine Escoffier knocked out No. 4 seed Lukas Lacko from Slovakia 7-5, 6-2. The 27-year-old Frenchman capitalized on four of his eight break point chances to prevail after one hour and 23 minutes. Escoffier will next take on Cem Ilkel. The 15th seed from Turkey beat Italian Alessandro Bega 6-4, 6-2 in one hour and 14 minutes.
Danilo Petrovic opened his title bid in Rennes with a hard-fought 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 victory over French wild card entry Valentin Royer. The No. 3 seed from Serbia, who lifted two trophies on the ATP Challenger Tour last season, fired 14 aces and won 80 per cent of his first-service points to finish the encounter after one hour and 14 minutes. Petrovic will next be challenged by Russian veteran Teymuraz Gabashvili, who battled through the qualifying and ousted No. 16 seed Lucas Miedler of Austria 7-6(6), 6-0 in the second round of the main draw.
Constant Lestienne put Jerzy Janowicz‘s comeback to the tour on hold. The 10th favourite from France defeated the 29-year-old from Poland, who has been playing his first tournament since November 2017, 7-6(3), 6-4. Lestienne won 52 per cent of the total points played in one hour and 49 minutes to oppose No. 6 seed Alexey Vatutin of Russia in the third round. Janowicz is still playing doubles in Rennes. Alongside his compatriot Szymon Walkow, the pair advanced to the second round.
RESULTS – JANUARY 22, 2020
Singles – Second Round
 S. Stakhovsky (UKR) d N. Serdarusic (CRO) 76(3) 64
[Q] C. Denolly (FRA) d  O. Otte (GER) 64 62
 D. Petrovic (SRB) d [WC] V. Royer (FRA) 61 36 63
[Alt] A. Escoffier (FRA) d  L. Lacko (SVK) 75 62
[WC] E. Furness (FRA) d  M. Janvier (FRA) 76(6) 62
 M. Moraing (GER) d K. Maamoun (EGY) 64 63
 C. Lestienne (FRA) d [WC] J. Janowicz (POL) 76(3) 64
[WC] K. Jacquet (FRA) d  A. Muller (FRA) 62 02 Retired
J. Ward (GBR) d  P. Kotov (RUS) 63 67(5) 63
 C. Ilkel (TUR) d [Alt] A. Bega (ITA) 64 62
[Q] T. Gabashvili (RUS) d  L. Miedler (AUT) 76(6) 60
Doubles – First Round
 A. Sancic (CRO) / T. Weissborn (AUT) d U. Ignatik (BLR) / L. Miedler (AUT) 62 61
[Alt] A. Celikbilek (TUR) / C. Ilkel (TUR) d L. Klein (SVK) / A. Vatutin (RUS) 62 62
[PR] J. Janowicz (POL) / S. Walkow (POL) d [WC] E. Furness (FRA) / V. Royer (FRA) 62 62
1 – Final
M. Gicquel (FRA) / C. Lacourt (FRA) d P. Mathieu (FRA) / P. Menes (FRA) 42 Retired