LUGANO/STARNBERG, March 23, 2021
Two qualifiers headlined Tuesday’s first-round action at the €44,820 Challenger Citta di Lugano held on the indoor hard courts of the Padiglione Conza. Tim van Rijthoven knocked out No. 3 seed Peter Gojowzcyk from Germany 6-4, 4-6, 6-4.
The World No. 333 from the Netherlands, who beat Austrian Alexander Erler and Sandro Ehrat from Switzerland in the qualifying, fired 22 aces and won 79 per cent of his first-service points to seal victory in one hour and 36 minutes. Van Rijthoven will next take on 18-year-old Swiss wild card entry Dominic Stephan Stricker.
In the bottom half of the draw, Ukrainian qualifier Vitaliy Sachko upset fourth seed Marc Polmans of Australia 2-6, 6-4, 6-2. The World No. 389, who booked his spot in the main draw with wins over US-American Nick Chappell and Johan Nikles from Switzerland, converted five of his nine break-point opportunities to prevail after two hours and 21 minutes.
Up next for Sachko will be his compatriot Sergiy Stakhovsky, who cruised past Italian qualifier Francesco Forti 6-4, 6-2 in only 56 minutes.
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In other action, sixth seed Roman Safiullin eased past 18-year-old Jerome Kym, the youngest player in Switzerland to play a Davis Cup rubber, 6-4, 6-2 in 55 minutes to face US-American Jack Sock in the second round.
The 28-year-old former World No. 8, currently sitting at No. 259 of the ATP Rankings, struck seven aces to defeat qualifier Antoine Bellier of Switzerland 6-4, 6-3. The encounter lasted one hour and two minutes.