Ficovich In Cruise Mode, As Ambato La Gran Ciudad Challenger Gets Underway

Juan Pablo Ficovich (photo: Sala de prensa/Armando Prado)

AMBATO, September 21, 2021

The ATP Challenger Tour clay-court swing in Ecuador continues this week with the inaugural $52,080 Ambato La Gran Ciudad, being held at the Club Tungurahua in Ambato. The city is located in the central Andean valley of Ecuador and is the capital of the province of Tungurahua, at an elevation of 2,577 meters above sea level.

Main draw action kicked off on Monday with No. 6 seed Juan Pablo Ficovich beating 15-year-old local wild card entry Daniel Espin Perez 6-1, 6-0. The World No. 236 from Argentina remained untroubled with the unranked teenager. Ficovich saved the only break point he faced and capitalized on 11 of his own 16 break-point chances to advance in only 43 minutes.

I feel very happy, as I was able to play in the main draw of a Challenger,” said Espin Perez, who became the first player from Ambato to do so. “I felt very good on the court, obviously my opponent played well, because he has a lot of experience, and that counts a lot here in tennis. He had a very good serve.”

Ficovich commented on facing an unknown player:“The truth is that it is not easy, because you don’t know him, you don’t know what you have to expect on the court. It is key to have a good start into the match and to gain an early lead and then to continue like this.”

Up next for the 24-year-old Buenos Aires native will be Colombian qualifier Alejandro Gomez.

No. 2 seed Andrej Martin opened his title bid with a 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(7) win over Oriol Roca Batalla from Spain. The World No. 122 from Slovakia struck six aces and won 75 per cent of his first-service points to prevail after three hours and four minutes. Martin will next take on either Goncalo Oliveira of Portugal or last week’s runner-up from Quito, Goncalo Lama from Chile.

Results – Monday

First Round

Juan Pablo Ficovich ARG def. Daniel Espín ECU  6-1, 6-0

Andrej Martin SVK def. Oriol Roca Batalla ESP 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(7)

Carlos Gómez-Herrera ESP def. Eduard Esteve Lobato ESP 6-4, 7-6(6), 6-3

Qualifying Final Round:

Pol Martin Tiffon ESP def. Alejandro González COL 6-3, 6-4

Matías Zukas ARG def. Luca Castelnuovo SUI  6-3 7-6(3)

Patrick Kypson USA def. Junior Ore USA  6-0 6-3

Alejandro Gómez COL def. Alexis Gautier FRA 7-6(7), 6-4