GUAYAQUIL/STARNBERG, November 2, 2021
Daniel Elahi Galan from Colombia and Jesper De Jong from the Netherlands became the first two winners of the 2021 edition of the Challenger Ciudad de Guayaquil CUP BANCO GUAYAQUIL presented by CNT, an ATP Challenger Tour 80 clay-court tournament is being held at the Anexo Guayaquil Tenis Club.
In humid conditions in the second largest city of Ecuador, No. 3 seed Galan defeated his compatriot Nicolas Mejia 6-2, 7-5 on Monday afternoon. The World No. 102 from Bogota sent down four aces and won 78 per cent of his first-service points to prevail after one hour and 33 minutes.
🎾 Daniel Galán 🇨🇴 ganó el duelo colombiano ante Nicolás Mejía y se pone en forma para la segunda ronda del #ChallengerDeGuayaquil @AndresGomezGogo @LAMorejon @gyetenisclub @BancoGuayaquil @CNT_EC @urvaseo pic.twitter.com/Lf5ZboAGCM
— Challenger de Guayaquil (@challengye05) November 1, 2021
“It is unfortunate for us (playing against each other in the opening round). I would have preferred to play another player in the first round. We both had the chance to advance to the second round, but this is part of tennis and you have to learn to deal with those things,” Galan said and will next take on either Argentine qualifier Facundo Juarez or alternate Facundo Diaz Acosta from Argentina.
De Jong benefited from the retirement of 2018 Guayaquil champion Guido Andreozzi. The 30-year-old Argentine even had match points but was forced to stop playing due to physical problems at the score of 6-3, 6-7(4) after two hours and one minute. De Jong will next play the winner of the encounter between No. 7 seed Hugo Dellien of Bolivia and Serbia’s Pedja Krstin.
Kicker wins battle of the Argentines
Later in the evening, Nicolas Kicker emerged victorious from the all-Argentine battle with No. 4 seed Sebastian Baez, winning, 7-6(3), 4-6, 7-5. The 29-year-old from Merlo outpointed Baez 119-108 after almost three hours of play.
En uno de los mejores partidos que se han disputado a lo largo de los 17 años en el #ChallengerdeGuayaquil @KickerNico derrotó a @Seba_baez7 7-6(3), 4-6, 7-5. Una verdadera batalla sin bajar la intensidad las 2h54′. Aquí el match point 👇 pic.twitter.com/bQigdr0Srg
— Challenger de Guayaquil (@challengye05) November 2, 2021
“Exhausted, totally exhausted,” were the first words of Kicker of how he felt after winning that epic duel. “It was a very tough match with a lot of intensity. He has been having an incredible year, he won a lot of Challengers. I am very happy about today’s victory. Very hard match, very tight, many chances for both of us, it was a battle.
“These kind of matches are very useful, I was suspended for two years and eight months. I had to wait a very long time, but here we are enjoying this sport. So, I am just happy to be here again and to have won today.”
In the second round, Kicker, champion in Guayaquil 2016, will face the winner of the match between Daniel Dutra Da Silva from Brazil and Nick Hardt from the Dominican Republic.
First round singles
Daniel Galán (COL) def. Nicolás Mejía (COL) 6-2, 7-5
Jesper De Jong (NED) def. Guido Andreozzi (ARG) 3-6, 7-6(4) ret.
Darian King (BAR) def. Álvaro Guillén (ECU) 0-6, 6-3, 6-4
Nicolás Kicker (ARG) def. Sebastián Báez (ARG) 7-6(3), 4-6, 7-5
Qualifying final round
Nicolás Álvarez (PER) def. Nicolás Barrientos (COL) 2-6, 6-4, 6-4
Facundo Juárez (ARG) def. Juan Bautista Torres (ARG) 6-3, 6-7(4), 7-5
Alejandro González (COL) def. Nicolás Álvarez Varona (ESP) 6-4, 7-6(5)
Daniel Dutra da Silva (BRA) def. Murkel Dellien (BOL) 7-6(8), 6-4