Gautier Upsets Martin At Ambato Challenger

Alexis Gautier (photo: Sala de prensa/Armando Prado)

AMBATO/STARNBERG, September 24, 2021

Players of the bottom half of the draw completed the quarterfinals line-up of the Ambato La Gran Ciudad ATP Challenger Tour clay-court tournament.

French lucky loser Alexis Gautier sprung a surprise Thursday at the Club Tungurahua in Ambato, Ecuador as he downed second seed Andrej Martin of Slovakia 6-3, 7-6(1). The World No. 380 struck six aces and won 78 per cent of his first-service points to advance after one hour and 44 minutes.

Gautier has captured three ITF World Tennis Tour career singles titles, two of them won earlier this year in Skopje, Republic of North Macedonia and Pescara, Italy and reached the semi-finals at last week’s Dove Men & Care Quito Challenger.

The 24-year-old Levallois native will meet his last rival from Quito in Ambato again, as Argentine Facundo Mena rallied past Lucas Catarina of Monaco 4-6, 7-6(3), 6-4. Last week’s Quito champion won 51 per cent of the total points played to extend his winning streak to seven matches after two hours and 15 minutes.

In other action, Thiago Agustin Tirante of Argentine edged past Spaniard Carlos Gomez-Herrera 7-6(5), 3-6, 7-6(1) after two hours and 14 minutes. The No. 7 seed won five points more than his opponent to prevail after two hours and 14 minutes.

“I played quite well in the tie-breaks and I am very happy with the victory,” Tirante said.

Up next for the 20-year-old from La Plata will be Gerald Melzer from Austria, who beat Julian Lenz from Germany 6-3, 7-5. The encounter lasted one hour and 21 minutes.