POREC, March 12, 2021
After a year hiatus, the ITF World Tennis Tour has returned to Istria for the 49th edition of the Istarska Rivijera, the oldest international tennis tournament series in Croatia. The first stop of a three-week clay-court swing is Porec, a town and municipality on the western coast of the Istrian peninsula.
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The semi-finals line-up of the ITF World Tennis Tour M15 event, held at the Tennis Centar Pical, will be led by World No. 468 Alex Rybakov. The 24-year-old US-American is the last seeded player left in the singles draw. Rybakov held off of German qualifier Sebastian Prechtel with a 6-2, 6-2 victory on a rainy Friday morning.
The No. 5 seed capitalized on seven of his 11 break-point chances to prevail after one hour and 19 minutes. Rybakov will next take on Austrian wild card entry Filip Misolic. The 19-year-old defeated seventh favourite Pavel Nevedly from the Czech Republic 6-4, 6-4. Misolic sent down three aces and won 62 per cent of his first-service points to advance after one hour and 42 minutes.
In the bottom half of the draw, Swiss qualifier Damien Wenger continued his good run of form by beating Alexander Lazarov from Bulgaria 7-6(2), 6-0. The 20-year-old broke his opponent’s serve six times to secure victory in one hour and 39 minutes. Up next for Wenger will be Pietro Rondoni, who benefited from the retirement of fellow Italian Matteo Arnaldi leading 4-6, 6-1, 3-0.