CLEVELAND/STARNBERG, March 18, 2021
The ATP Challenger Tour has returned to the United States for the first time this year with the third edition of the Cleveland Open. The $52,080 indoor hard-court event is hosted by the Cleveland Racquet Club in the Pepper Pike neighborhood, an affluent eastern suburb of the Greater Cleveland area in the US state of Ohio.
This week’s quarterfinals are set, led by Emilio Gomez from Ecuador, the only seeded player left in the singles draw. The third favourite outlasted Colombian alternate Nicolas Mejia 1-6, 7-6(4), 6-1 on Wednesday. Gomez sent down six aces and won 70 per cent of his first-service points to secure victory in two hours and 21 minutes. Up next for the World No. 177 will be Christopher Eubanks, who cruised past Darian King of Barbados 6-1, 6-2 in only 48 minutes.
Michael Redlicki, who knocked out top seed James Duckworth of Australia in the opening round, continued his good run of form with a 6-3, 6-3 win over 19-year-old Canadian wild card entry Liam Draxl. Redlicki will next take on fellow US-American Jenson Brooksby, who upset No. 6 seed Brayden Schnur of Canada 6-2, 7-6(5) after one hour and 50 minutes. The 20-year-old California native clinched his maiden Challenger trophy at the Potch Open in Potchefstroom, South Africa last month.
— Cleveland Open (@CLEChallenger) March 18, 2021
Soeda, Torpegaard with first-round losses
In the bottom half of the draw, No. 2 seed Go Soeda of Japan fell in the first round after a tough battle against Donald Young. The US-American, however, also lost in Tuesday’s second round match to Canadian qualifier Alexis Galarneau. The World No. 521 from Laval won 7-5, 7-5 in just under two hours of play.
Galarneau will face Bjorn Fratangelo in the stage of the final eight. The 27-year-old emerged victorious from the all-US-American affair with Alexander Ritschard 6-3, 6-2 in 71 minutes.
Local favourite Alexsandar Kovacevic from the Ohio State University in Columbus booked his spot in the quarterfinal following a 7-6(4), 6-3 win over wild card Roy Smith from the Unites States. The 2019 ITA All-American fired 20 aces and won 93 per cent of his first-service points to prevail after one hour and 38 minutes.
Kovacevic will play Yosuke Watanuki of Japan, who fought past Lucas Caterina from Monaco 6-3, 5-7, 6-1. Earlier in the week, Catarina took out Cleveland Open defending champion and No. 4 seed Mikael Torpegaard from Denmark in the first round.