STARNBERG, January 19, 2021
Joao Menezes headlined Tuesday’s first-round action at the € 132,280 Istanbul Indoor Challenger by knocking out Colombia’s Daniel Elahi Galan, the top seed of the opening ATP Challenger Tour tournament of the 2021 season. The qualifier from Brazil struck five aces and won 80 per cent of his first-service points to secure a 7-6(5), 6-3 victory in one hour and 23 minutes. Menezes will next play Turkish wild card entry Ergi Kirkin.
The Itajai resident will be joined by fellow qualifier Arthur Rinderknech in the second round of the hard-court event. The 25-year-old Frenchman benefited from the retirement of No. 5 seed Prajnesh Gunneswaran of India. Rinderknech was leading 6-4, 3-2 when his opponent was forced to stop playing due to a neck injury.
Rinderknech, a winner of two ATP Challengers on home soil in Rennes and Calgary, Canada last year, will next take on US-American young gun Brandon Nakashima, who rallied past local wild card Cem Ilkel 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 in one hour and 55 minutes.
In the bottom half of the draw, Federico Gaio of Italy defeated British qualifier Jay Clarke 6-3, 7-5 to meet Mohamed Safwat of Egypt next. Tallon Griekspoor from the Netherlands edged past Czech qualifier Lukas Rosol 6-4, 7-6(3) and will next face Go Soeda of Japan.
In the longest match of the day, No. 3 seed Antoine Hoang booked his place in the second round with a 6-7(3), 6-2, 6-4 win over Emilio Gomez from Ecuador. The 25-year-old Frenchman left the court as the winner after two hours and 21 minutes. Up next for Hoang will be Italian Lorenzo Giustino.
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