Challenger Ciudad de Guayaquil: Cerundolo Into Quarterfinals

STARNBERG, November 19, 2020

A three-week clay-court swing in South America has kicked off in Guayaquil, Ecuador’s largest city and the nation’s main port, located on the west bank of the Guayas River. The $52,080 Challenger Ciudad de Guayaquil is held at the Anexo Guayaquil Tenis Club and the first four players booked their spot in the quarterfinals on Wednesday.

Francisco Cerundolo battled past No. 6 seed Juan Pablo Varillas of Peru 6-1, 6-7(9), 7-6(2). The 22-year-old from Argentina, who lifted his maiden trophy on the ATP Challenger Tour at the inaugural Split Open in Croatia in early October, sent down seven aces and won 74 per cent of his first-service points to secure victory.

“The first set was 6-1, but it was tougher than the scoreboard might tell. He was a little nervous, then he recovered, he is a great player and obviously he knew it was going to be a tough match. The following sets were pretty even and I am happy to have taken the match,” Cerundolo said and looked exhausted after two hours and 45 minutes of play on a very hot and humid afternoon at the Gulf of Guayaquil.

“The weather is very harsh, it is very hot, very humid, it takes a lot of energy from you but luckily I did well today. It was an even match and I ended up tired, yes, but I managed to withstand it the entire match. I am very happy with how I feel physically and mentally in order to prepare for the next challenge,” said Cerundolo, who will take on No. 4 seed Jaume Munar in the stage of the final eight. The World No. 108 from Spain outlasted Christian Lindell from Sweden 6-0, 4-6, 6-4 in two hours and 50 minutes.

In other action, No. 3 seed Andrej Martin of Slovakia defeated Marcelo Tomas Barrios Vera from Chile 6-4, 6-1. The 31-year-old Bratislava native saved all four break points he faced and converted three of his own 12 break-point chances to advance after one hour and 26 minutes. Martin will next face Sebastian Baez, who emerged victorious from the all-Argentine affair with Facundo Mena, 7-6(4), 6-2. The encounter lasted one hour and 40 minutes.

RESULTS – Wednesday, Second Round

Andrej Martin (SVK) def. Marcelo Barrios (CHI)        6-4, 6-1

Sebastián Báez (ARG) def. Facundo Mena (ARG)      7-6(4), 6-2

Francisco Cerúndolo (ARG) def. Juan Varillas (PER) 6-1, 6-7(9), 7-6(2)

Jaume Munar (ESP) def. Christian. Lindell (SWE)       6-0, 4-6, 6-4