Geerts Reaches First Challenger Semi-Final At Pozoblanco

Michael Geerts (photo: Open Ciudad de Pozoblanco)

POZOBLANCO, July 23, 2021

Michael Geerts continues his great run of form in Andalusia, Spain this week by reaching his first semi-final on the ATP Challenger Tour. The 26-year-old qualifier from Belgium defeated US-American teenager Emilio Nava 7-6(2), 7-6(3) in Friday’s quarterfinals of the €44,820 Open Ciudad de Pozoblanco held on the hard courts of the C.D. Open de Tenis Ciudad de Pozoblanco.

On a tropical night in Southern Spain, Geerts struck 10 aces and won 80 per cent of his first-service points to secure victory in two hours and 10 minutes. The World No. 348 from Antwerp, who captured six career titles on the ITF Pro Circuit, will next take on Cem Ilkel of Turkey. The No. 4 seed fought past Tim van Rijthoven from the Netherlands 7-5, 7-6(5). Ilkel saved all four break points he faced and converted one of his own four break-point opportunities to prevail after two hours and three minutes.

Later in the evening, Gregoire Barrere defeated Bolivian lucky loser Federico Zeballos 6-4, 6-3. The No. 2 seed from France and highest-ranked player left in the singles draw outpointed his rival 66-48 after one hour and 16 minutes. The World No. 135 will next play Altug Celikbilek. The third favourite from Turkey eased past the last Spaniard standing, Adrian Menendez-Maceiras, 6-3, 6-0 on Centre Court ‘Memorial Fabián Dorado’. World No. 203 Celikbilek didn’t face a break point and capitalized on four of his own eight break-point chances to advance after one hour and 12 minutes.

Saturday’s tennis action will kick off on 8 pm local time with the doubles final. Igor Sijsling and Tim van Rijthoven will take on No. 2 seeds Diego Hidalgo from Ecuador and Sergio Martos Gornes from Spain followed by the semi-finals in singles.