GRAN CANARIA, February 26, 2021
The semi-finals of the Gran Canaria Challenger I are set. World No. 149 Nikola Milojevic remains the only seeded player left in the singles draw of the €44,820 clay-court event in Telde, Gran Canaria.
On a windy Friday at the El Cortijo Tennis Academy, the 25-year-old from Serbia rallied past Andrea Pellegrino of Italy 4-6, 6-1, 6-4. Milojevic, a winner of two ATP Challenger titles at 2018 Fergana in Uzbekistan and at 2019 Liberec in the Czech Republic, struck six aces and won 79 per cent of his first-service points to prevail after one hour and 55 minutes.
“I feel good, especially that I stayed calm when I was a break down in the third set and managed to things turn around. I played well from then on,” Milojevic told Italian journalist Matteo Mosciatti afterwards.
“I was the favourite but my opponent started the match better than me but thankfully I found my game and my rhythm to come back. If I keep winning matches like this, I will be on a good path.”
Milojevic will next take on Frenchman Enzo Couacaud, who survived a topsy-turvy encounter with Marco Trungelliti of Argentina, winning 6-1, 0-6, 7-6(6). The 25-year-old Paris resident won three points less than his opponent from South America but secured victory in the tie-break of the final set after two hours and six minutes.
In the top half of the draw, qualifier Alex Molcan continued his good run of form on the Canary Islands. The World No. 296 from Slovakia, who knocked top seeded Italian Lorenzo Musetti in the previous round, defeated compatriot and No. 8 seed Filip Horansky 6-2, 6-3 to book his spot in the stage of the final four. Molcan converted six of his nine break-point chances to advance after one hour and 12 minutes.
Molcan will next play Steven Diez from Canada. The 29-year-old Toronto native with Spanish parents eased past Italy’s Riccardo Bonadio 6-3, 6-0. Diez finished the encounter after only 65 minutes.
“I expected a tough match with long rallies. We have known each other for many years. It was very windy but I handled the conditions better than him today,” Diez said.
Semis set in Gran Canaria 💪
🇫🇷 Couacaud vs. 🇷🇸 Milojevic
🇨🇦 Diez vs. 🇸🇰 Molcan pic.twitter.com/h4oFX3igJD
— ATP Challenger Tour (@ATPChallenger) February 26, 2021