Laaksonen Takes Out Top Seed At Marbella Challenger

Henri Laaksonen (photo: AnyTech365 Andalucia Open)

MARBELLA, March 29, 2021

Main draw action at the AnyTech365 Andalucia Open kicked off Monday with an upset, as unseeded Henri Laaksonen knocked out World No. 96 and the tournament’s No. 1 Roberto Carballes Baena of Spain 1-6, 6-3, 6-3 on Estadio Manolo Santana at the Club de Tenis Puente Romano in Marbella, Spain.

The 28-year-old Swiss outpointed his opponent, who struggled with a lower back injury in the final set and received a medical treatment, 81-80 after two hours and 18 minutes in the opening round of the ATP Challenger 80 event.

Competing in his first clay-court tournament of the season, five-time Challenger champion Laaksonen will next take on Martin Klizan of Slovakia, who edged past big-serving US-American Maxime Cressy 6-1, 7-6(3) in one hour and 45 minutes.

In other action, former World No. 10 Ernests Gulbis booked his spot in the second round by defeating No. 8 seed Evgeny Donskoy of Russia 6-2, 6-2. The 32-year-old from Latvia struck eight aces, saved all three break points he faced and capitalized on four of his own six break-point chances to advance after one hour and 16 minutes. The World No. 189 will next face Roberto Marcora of Italy, who eased past Australian Marc Polmans 6-3, 6-1 in exactly one hour of play.

Alessandro Giannessi of Italy beat Joao Domingues from Portugal 6-3, 6-4 to meet No. 5 seed Pedro Sousa in the next round. The 32-year-old Portuguese fought past Russian Andrey Kuznetsov 6-7(2), 6-2, 6-1. The encounter lasted two hours and five minutes.

Earlier in the day, Vit Kopriva from the Czech Republic, Spanish wild card entry Carlos Sanchez Jover as well as Javier Barranco Cosano and Nikolas Sanchez Izquierda won their respective matches in the final round of the qualifying to complete the main draw at the Costa del Sol.