Ajdukovic Advances To Maia Open Main Draw

STARNBERG, November 29, 2020

Four players have completed the main draw of the 2020 Maia Open, the final ATP Challenger tournament of the season held on European soil. The €44,080 indoor clay-court event is hosted by the Complexo Municipal de Tenis da Maia in Portugal.

Croatian teenager Duje Ajdukovic, a two-time champion on the ITF World Tennis Tour this year in Curtea de Arges, Romania, and Antalya, Turkey, rallied from a set down to overcome Nikolas Sanchez Izquierdo of Spain, 3-6, 7-6(5), 7-5 on Sunday. The 19-year-old Split native, who advanced to his first Challenger semi-final at his home tournament in early October, struck six aces and won 71 per cent of his first-service points to prevail after two hours and 34 minutes. Ajdukovic will face No. 7 seed Lorenzo Giustino of Italy in the first round of the main draw.

Michael Vrbensky from the Czech Republic defeated local wild card entry Luis Faria 6-4, 6-4 in one hour and 55 minutes to face Italian veteran and No. 6 seed Paolo Lorenzi in his opening match. World No. 797 Faria was vying for his first main draw appearance at Challenger level.

“It was a very close and even match,” Faria said, quoted by Raquetc.com. “He was more consistent and the better player in the decisive moments. I think that made the difference in the end.”

In other action, Altug Celikbilek from Turkey edged past Nino Serdarusic of Croatia 7-5, 6-3 in one hour and 36 minutes. The 24-year-old Istanbul resident will play Portuguese wild card Goncalo Oliveira in the first round. Frenchman Maxime Hamou benefited from the retirement of Italian Riccardo Bonadio, leading 3-1 in the opening set, to set a first-round clash with No. 2 seed Pedro Sousa from Portugal.

Main draw kicks off Monday

The Maia Open field is led by World No. 85 Pedro Martinez from Spain. The 23-year-old will open his title bid against Andrea Arnaboldi from Italy. Defending champion Jozef Kovalik is the tournament’s No. 3 seed.

The World No. 131 from Slovakia defeated Constant Lestienne of France in last year’s singles final. Kovalik will start against Julian Lenz from Germany. Henri Laaksonen rounds out the Top 4 seeds. The 28-year-old from Switzerland will open Centre-Court action on Monday against Zdenek Kolar from the Czech Republic.