STARNBERG, January 20, 2021
Ergi Kirkin continued his good run of form this week by reaching the quarterfinals of the € 132,280 Istanbul Indoor Challenger held at the Ted Sports Club in Istanbul, Turkey. The local wild card entry defeated Brazilian qualifier Joao Menezes 6-2, 7-6(5) on Wednesday.
World No. 449 Kirkin, a winner of four titles on the ITF World Tennis Tour, saved all five break points he faced and capitalized on both of his own two break-point chances to prevail after one hour and 36 minutes. In his first quarterfinal at ATP Challenger level, the 21-year-old from Ankara will take on Jozef Kovalik from Slovakia, who edged out Carlos Taberner of Spain 7-6(4), 6-0 in one hour and 37 minutes.
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In the bottom half of the draw, Go Soeda from Japan fought past Tallon Griekspoor from the Netherlands 7-5, 4-6, 7-6(2) in two hours and 38 minutes to face Mohamed Safwat in the stage of the final eight. The 30-year-old Egyptian beat Federico Gaio of Italy 7-6(4), 7-5 in two hours and five minutes.
In first-round action, Swiss Marc-Andrea Huesler, the only Challenger champion on multiple surfaces last year, opened his Istanbul campaign with a 2-6, 6-2, 6-4 victory over lucky loser Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan in 90 minutes and will next meet Argentine Facundo Bagnis. The No. 4 seed defeated Zizhen Zhang from China 6-4, 6-1. The encounter lasted one hour and 21 minutes.