SOFIA, February 3, 2016
Three first round matches and two second round encounters were scheduled on Day 3 of the €520,070 Garanti Koza Sofia Open, held at Arena Armeec.
Eighth seed Adrian Mannarino defeated Evgeny Donskoy 6-2, 7-5 in the pair’s fourth tour meeting. The world number 49 from France saved all of the three break points he faced, converting three of his own to prevail in one hour and 23 minutes. Mannarino celebrated his third victory over the Russian facing Marius Copil next.
Daniel Brands emerged victorious from the battle of the qualifiers with Italian Thomas Fabbiano, winning 7-6, 6-3. Both players squared off for the first time on the ATP World Tour but the the 28-year-old German won both previous meetings on the ATP Challenger Tour on clay and also had the better ending in Bulgaria’s capital on Wednesday. Brands fired 16 aces and won 78% of his first service points to finish the encounter after one hour and 38 minutes. He will take on the tournament’s number two Viktor Troicki in the second round.
The opening round concluded with Ricardas Berankis, who had to work hard to overcome local wild card and world number 287 Dimitar Kuzmanov, who appeared his very first main draw match on the ATP World Tour. Berankis won 69% of his first service points, hitting only one ace in the encounter, which lasted one hour and 50 minutes. The 25-year-old Lithuanian will now face sixth seed Gilles Muller for a spot in the last eight.
Martin Klizan is the first player to reach the quarterfinals. The seventh seed from Slovakia won his second round match over Lukas Rosol 6-3, 2-6, 7-6. The world number 44 withstood eight aces and broke his opponent’s service two times to advance after two hours and four minutes. He waits the winner of the encounter between Thiemo de Bakker and fourth favourite Andreas Seppi in the round of the final eight.
“Lukas is a good player. It was very tough match from the very beginning. I think first set I took the lead. The second set he used his chance and broke me. In the third set I was down to 5 and it almost lost the match. He had a match point and I was with one leg already on my way home. But the things changed. I was a little bit luckier. I was fighting until a happy end for me,” Klizan summarized the encounter.
In the evening session, third seed Guillermo Garcia-López opened his Sofia campaign with a straight sets win over Bosnian qualifier Mirza Basic. The world number 27 from Spain, who captured the title of the Zagreb Indoors’ final edition last year, saved all two break points he faced and converted two of his own to seal a 6-3, 6-4 victory in one hour and 19 minutes. Garcia-López wil take on the winner of the match between Ricardas Berankis and Gilles Muller.
“It wasn’t easy tonight as it was my first match here,” Garcia-Lopez said. “I had difficulties finding the ball sometimes as it is a big stadium. I tried to play point by point and I am happy with the end result. Now I have to get ready for the next match. It won’t be easy as Gilles (Muller) is a good indoor player and Berankis is very consistent”.