RENNES, January 23, 2020
Tobias Kamke headlined Thursday’s third-round action at the Open Blot Rennes, knocking out the tournament’s top seed Sergiy Stakhovsky. The 33-year-old German was in cruise control right from the beginning of the match to eventually secure a 6-2, 6-1 victory.
Kamke, who arrived in Rennes on Sunday following a first-round exit in the qualifying to the Australian Open, saved the only break point he faced and capitalized on five of his own nine break point opportunities to prevail in just under one hour of play.
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“When you have a look at our previous matches, it seems that Sergiy is a player I like to face on the court,” said Kamke following his fifth win in the sixth meeting with the Ukrainian. “However, the last matches were closer. I could have easily lost against him in Quimper last year. I was lucky in the end to win 7-6 in the third set.
“I am very pleased to close it out in straight sets today, so I was able to save some energy for tomorrow. He didn’t serve that well today and didn’t feel comfortable from the baseline. I felt that I could dominate and win most of the rallies. I gained some confidence and was more relaxed during my own service games. I returned well and made the points in the decisive moments, which made the difference today.”
Kamke said that he feels comfortable in France and has returned to Brittany several times.
“I have good memories of the tournament here, as I won my first doubles title together with Phillip Marx in 2014 in Rennes. Back then, the tournament took place towards the end of the season in October but I always like coming back to France. There are a lot of Challenger events taking place and they put a lot of effort in the organization. The Center Court here is great, even providing Hawk-Eye. It’s a nice arena to play tennis. I hope to stay here a bit longer.”
Kamke will next face Roberto Ortega-Olmedo. The 28-year-old Spaniard outlasted local favourite Evan Furness, who finished runner-up twice to Carlos Alcaraz at the ITF World Tennis Tour events held at the Rafa Nadal Academy in Mallorca over the past two weeks. Ortega-Olmedo won 4-6, 6-2, 7-5 after two hours and 18 minutes.
The match was suspended at 4-4 in the first set, as a flare was thrown on the court. Demonstrators were out on the streets in Rennes this evening to protest the government’s latest announcements in its bid to reform the country’s pension system.
Remarkable scenes at the Rennes Challenger as the partisan French crowd throw a flare on the court and then police are called to diffuse ongoing trouble in the stands! pic.twitter.com/2KkARQQVM4
— JAbet (@JAbetOfficial) January 23, 2020
Earlier in the day, Arthur Rinderknech continued his good run of form in Brittany. The 24-year-old Frenchman defeated No. 9 seeded German Mats Moraing 6-2, 6-3. Rinderknech fired 16 aces and won 81 per cent of his first-service points to advance in only 59 minutes.
“I had a solid game play and I felt fresh compared to yesterday, where I had a tough round against Zapata Miralles. I had to push myself pretty deep physically. I tried to break him as early as possible to get the confidence and the lead. This worked out pretty well and helped me to get the rhythm in the match,” Rinderknech told Tennis TourTalk afterwards.
The World No. 329, a three-time champion on the ITF World Tennis Tour last year, opened his season at the Ann Arbor Challenger in the United States, a country Rinderknech knows pretty well. “After high school I left to play college tennis at the Texas A&M University. It is a great school with great coaches and I really liked the atmosphere over there. It was a great path for me and I can recommend it to anyone.”
Here in Rennes, Rinderknech will continue his journey against No. 15 Cem Ilkel from Turkey, who fought past Frenchman Antoine Escoffier 6-3, 5-6, 6-3.
Jacquet advances to quarterfinals
Competing in his first ATP Challenger event, 18-year-old Kyrian Jacquet booked his spot in the quarterfinals. The wild card entry from France rallied past his compatriot and No. 8 seed Tristan Lamasine 2-6, 6-1, 6-2. Jacquet won 53 per cent of the total points played to advance in one hour and 37 minutes. Up next for the teenager will be James Ward of Great Britain, who beat French qualifier Corentin Denolly 6-4, 6-3.
In Friday’s remaining quarterfinal match-up, No. 3 seed Danilo Petrovic of Serbia will take on the tournament’s No. 10 Constant Lestienne of France.