Birthday Boy Petrovic Reaches Open Rennes Semis

RENNES, January 24, 2020

Danilo Petrovic remains the highest-ranked player left in the singles draw of the Open Blot Rennes. The No. 3 seed of the €46,600 ATP Challenger event defeated the tournament’s No. 10 Constant Lestienne of France 6-2, 7-6(6) in the quarterfinals on Friday.

On his 28th birthday, Petrovic struck 16 aces and won 82 per cent of his first-service points to secure victory in one hour and 27 minutes.

“We are good friends,” said Petrovic, who practiced with Lestienne at the ISP Academy in Sophia Antipolis. “We kind of grew up together and shared a room for a certain time. We know each other really well, so it was a tough job for both of us to overcome the emotional part. I was a set and a break up and then I started thinking and doubts came up but I managed to win the match eventually in the tie-break.”

The Serbian clinched his first two titles on the ATP Challenger Tour last year and opened his season Down Under losing in the first round of the qualifying to the Australian Open. Petrovic will next play James Ward. The 32-year-old Briton held off the great run of French wild card entry Kyrian Jacquet, winning 7-5, 3-6, 6-3 in one hour and 50 minutes.

“I think we played one match before but it was a long time ago in An-Ning, China. It was one of my first years on the ATP Challenger Tour and I played as a special exempt,” Petrovic said of his upcoming task. “I remember the match, as I was a set and a break up and was serving for the match. I eventually lost. He is a very good player with solid shots. I expect a good match and I am ready for a big fight.”

Kamke’s fine form continues

Later in the evening, Tobias Kamke advanced to his first semi-final on the ATP Challenger Tour since finishing runner-up to Brazilian Thiago Monteiro at the Sparkassen Open in Braunschweig in July last year. The 33-year-old German edged past Spanish hard-court specialist Roberto Ortega-Olmedo 6-3, 6-3 in the last singles match of the day at Le Liberté Arena.

Kamke saved all six break points he faced and converted three of his own 11 break point opportunities to prevail after one hour and 26 minutes.

“It was a much more complicated match than yesterday but I managed to be more relaxed.” Kamke said. “He held the ball much more in play, which was more difficult for me. I served very well today, especially at important times. It helped me a lot. Whenever I have had an opportunity on his service game, I capitalized on it. Maybe that’s what made the little difference tonight. The score could also have been the other way around. I’m really happy with the way I played.”

The No. 13 seed from Lübeck will face Arthur Rinderknech, the last Frenchman standing in Brittany. Rinderknech came back from set down to overcome No. 15 seed Cem Ilkel of Turkey 3-6, 6-1, 6-4. The encounter lasted one hour and 53 minutes.