RENNES/STARNBERG, September 16, 2021
Mats Moraing continued his fine run of form on the ATP Challenger Tour by reaching the quarterfinals of the Open Blot Rennes. The World No. 193 from Germany, who lifted his third Challenger career trophy in Tulln, Austria on clay on Saturday, has made a smooth transition to the hard courts inside Le Liberté in Brittany, France.
After a hard-fought first-round win over French wild card entry Harold Mayot, Moraing defeated Czech youngster Tomas Machac 7-6(9), 6-1 in the second round on Thursday afternoon. The 29-year-old Mühlheim an der Ruhr native struck 14 aces and won 77 per cent of his first-service points to prevail after one hour and 17 minutes.
“I am very happy. The first set was very complicated, we both served well. I was lucky, and in the second set I played better, and returned well,” said the big-serving left-hander, who was voted best server by former World No. 6 Gilles Simon.
“It’s very kind of him. I hope he is right, I will see tomorrow, and I will fight to the end, to try to win the tournament,” said Moraing, who will next take on Russian Teymuraz Gabashvili. The 36-year-old rallied past US-American Ernesto Escobedo 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 in one hour and 45 minutes.
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Rinderknech to face Pouille
Later in the day the local favourites dominated the action. Defending champion Arthur Rinderknech emerged victorious from the all-French affair with Tristan Lamasine, winning 7-6(8), 6-2. The second seed of the €66,640 hard-court tournament saved the only break point he faced and capitalized on two of his own break-point chances to advance to the quarterfinals after one hour and 41 minutes.
“It was a tough first set, Tristan was playing well,” said Rinderknech. “I tried to do the right thing, and winning the first set allowed me to break free in the second and gain the advantage. I felt pretty good, I can do a lot better I think, we’ll take care of that with my coach but one match at a time.”
Up next for Rinderknech will be fellow Frenchman Lucas Pouille. The No. 6 seed edged past Antoine Hoang from France 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 in two hours and 10 minutes.
“It was a super complicated match against Antoine who is a great player, I’m very happy to win,” Pouille said.