Val Gardena Challenger: Mixed Feelings For Bratislava Finalists

Tomas Machac – photo: Alex Runggaldier

STARNBERG, November 18, 2020

The finalists of last week’s Slovak Open in Bratislava opened their new campaign at the Sparkasse Challenger Val Gardena Südtirol, however, with different outcome. Maximilian Marterer of Germany, who lifted his seventh ATP Challenger career trophy last Sunday, lost to No. 3 seed Aslan Karatsev in the first round at the Tennis Club Ortisei on Wednesday.

The World No. 111 from Russia saved both break points he faced and capitalized on two of his own five break-point chances to secure a 7-6(4), 6-2 victory in one hour and 25 minutes. Karatsev will next take on Russian lucky loser Evgeny Karlovskiy.

Bratislava runner-up Tomas Machac defeated 17-year-old Italian wild card entry Luca Nardi 7-6(4), 7-6(8). The 20-year-old from the Czech Republic, who clinched his maiden Challenger title at the Koblenz Open in Germany at the beginning of the season, outpointed his rival 86-81 to prevail after one hour and 38 minutes. Up next for Machac will be No. 8 seed Martin Klizan of Slovakia.

Four players have already booked their spot in the quarterfinals. Alexandre Muller of France fought past Briton Jay Clarke 7-6(2), 6-7(4), 6-3 in two hours and 12 minutes to face Illya Marchenko from the Ukraine in the stage of the final eight. Marchenko received a walkover from Frenchman Hugo Grenier due to medical reason.

No. 5 seed Antoine Hoang of France remained untroubled in his match against Russian qualifier Pavel Kotov, winning 6-2, 6-4 in 69 minutes. Hoang awaits the winner of the encounter between Roberto Marcora of Italy and Germany’s Julian Lenz. Federico Gaio ended the good of Turkish qualifier Altug Celikbilek thanks to 6-4, 7-5 victory. The No. 6 seed from Italy withstood 13 aces and broke his opponent’s serve two times to advance in one hour and 16 minutes. Gaio will play either Karlovskiy or Karatsev next.