STARNBERG, November 11, 2020
Roberto Marcora headlined Tuesday’s first-round action of the Sparkassen Challenger Val Gardena Südtirol. The 31-year-old emerged victorious from the all-Italian affair with No. 4 seeded teenager Lorenzo Musetti, 6-3, 7-6(5). Obviously the fast hard court at the Tennis Club Ortisei suits Marcora’s strong serve, his powerful forehand and his aggressive returns very well. He capitalized on his only break point chance and won 56 per cent of the total points played to prevail after one hour and 18 minutes.
It was Marcora’s second win over the 18-year-old rising star in as many meeting between the two. The World No. 178 from Busto Arsizio, who is still seeking his first trophy on the ATP Challenger Tour, will next take on Julian Lenz of Germany. The 27-year-old Giessen native eased past Lukas Klein of Slovakia 6-3, 7-5 in one hour and 20 minutes.
Earlier in the day, No. 2 seed Ilya Ivashka remained untroubled during his 6-1, 6-1 victory over Matteo Viola of Italy. The World No. 113 from Belarus struck 10 aces and won 86 per cent of his first-service points to advance in only 50 minutes. Ivashka will next face German qualifier Johannes Haerteis, who fought past his compatriot Daniel Masur 6-3, 6-7(10), 6-3 after two hours and one minute.
In other action, No. 8 seed Martin Klizan only lost four points on his own serve in the first set to cruise past 18-year-old Italian wild card entry Guilio Zeppieri 6-1, 6-3 in just 50 minutes. The lefty from Slovakia will play either local youngster Luca Nardi or Tomas Machac from the Czech Republic, who finished runner-up to Germany’s Maximiliam Marterer at the Slovak Open in Bratislava last Sunday.
Antoine Hoang also booked his spot in the second round. The No. 5 seed withstood 17 aces to beat fellow Frenchman Arthur Rinderknech 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(5) in two hours and eight minutes. Up next will be Russian qualifier Pavel Kotov. Evgeny Karlovskiy of Russia won the battle of the lucky losers over his compatriot Alexey Vatutin 6-1, 6-3 after 64 minutes to await the winner of the encounter between Marterer and No. 3 seed Aslan Karatsev of Russia.