SAO PAULO, November 27, 2015
Inigo Cervantes and Guido Pella, last Sunday’s finalists at the Uruguay Open in Montevideo, continued their succesful run on the clay of the ATP Challenger Tour Finals at the Pinheiro Sports Club in Sao Paulo.
On Day 2 of the round robin matches, Cervantes advanced to the semi-finals from Group A, winning 6-4, 6-3 against first seed Paolo Lorenzi. The 25-year-old Spaniard, who entered the top 100 for the very first time four days ago, capitalized on all of his four break points to prevail in one hour and 36 minutes.
“You have to believe that you can win every match because if you don’t enter the court with positive thoughts, it gets hard,” said Cervantes. “I felt much better today than yesterday. The first match is always more complicated. I served better today, felt a little bit more calm during the whole match. Tomorrow it’s a double edged-sword. It’s a dangerous match because he has nothing to lose tomorrow. I have to try to play my game and I would like to reach the semis with three victories.”
Cervantes will play Farruk Dustov next. The The 29-year-old from Uzbekistan lost 6-7, 1-6 to Daniel Munoz de la Nava and does not have the chance to qualify for the semi-finals anymore. The match lasted one hour and 22 minutes. Consequently, Munoz de la Nava and Lorenzi are set to battle in a winner take all clash.
“The opponent was completely different from the first match,” Munoz-de la Nava said. “Dustov is a hard court player, with a great serve and quick points. Inigo serves really well, but we played long points,” he added and is looking forward to the encounter with the Italian. “Everytime I play Paolo, the matches are long and tough. He has won most of them, but I’m going to try to play well.”
In Group B, Pella defeated local wild card Guilherme Clezar through a 6-4, 6-3 victory. The world number 76 from Argentina saved all of the five break points he faced and won 76% of his first service points to advance to the stage of the final four after 90 minutes of play.
“I’m really happy,” Pella said. “That was the goal, winning the first two matches. I had some help from Albot. Tomorrow I’m going to give it all to advance without losing a match. Marco has nothing to lose, so it won’t be easy. But today was my best match here. He played a great first set, but I think I played extremely well too. It was really tough, it always is against Guilherme, because he is good on both wings and also serves great.”
The second spot from the group is on the line in the encounter between Radu Albot and Clezar. The 26-year-old from Moldova overcame Marco Cecchinato, winning 4-6, 6-3, 6-2. Albot broke his opponent’s service three times and won 82% of his first service points to finish the match after one hour and 36 minutes.
“I played him before,” said Albot. “He’s also very good on clay, but he has not played that many tournaments in the last few weeks. Maybe he’s not in his best moment right now as I am. But I just kept fighting and pushing the ball in the court. I never played against Clezar. But he’s playing home, playing well. I saw his match against Cecchinato. Very aggressive player with good hands. Usually we say ‘when you play home, the balls help you, you know?’. So I hope the balls will not help him tomorrow.”