Lama Delights Home Crowd At Santiago Challenger

Gonzalo Lama (photo: Dove Men & Care Legion Sudamericana Santiago)


World No. 327 Gonzalo Lama experienced an emotional victory in front of his family and friends at the Club Deportivo Palestino in Santiago de Chile on Wednesday afternoon and reached the quarterfinals of the $52,080 Dove Men & Care Legión Sudamericana Challenger Santiago 2 ATP Challenger clay-court event.

The wild card entry fought past Goncalo Oliveira from Portugal 6-4, 3-6, 7-5. In an even affair with six breaks on each side, Lama showed his mental strength in the decisive moments towards the end of the third set to prevail after two hours and 33 minutes.

The 28-year-old Santiago native, who captured two ATP Challenger titles in Cali, Colombia 2014 and Sao Paulo, Brazil 2016 and reached a career-high ranking of World No. 160 in June 2020, is getting back to his best. Lama lifted four trophies on the ITF World Tennis Tour this season and finished runner-up to Facundo Mena at the Quito Challenger in Ecuador last month.

He will next take on World No. 110 Francisco Cerundolo, the highest-ranked player left in the singles draw. The No. 2 seed from Argentina beat French qualifier Alexis Gautier 6-4, 6-2 in one hour and 18 minutes.

Sebastian Baez from Argentina also advanced to the stage of the final eight. The fifth-seeded Argentine came back from a set down to defeat US-American alternate Nick Chappell 5-7, 6-4, 6-1. Baez capitalized on eight of his 15 break-point chances to succeed in two hours and 18 minutes. Up next for Baez will be his compatriot Facundo Mena, who defeated Nicolas Kicker from Argentina 6-4, 6-4. The encounter lasted one hour and 51 minutes.