POREC, March 11, 2016
Two seeds headlined the action on quarterfinals Friday at the $10,000 ITF Future in Porec, held at Tennis Center Pical. The tournament’s number six Omar Giacalone benefited from the retirement of Ivan Bjelica. The 32-year-old Serbian was forced to stop the match after exactly one hour of play due to injury with the Italian leading 6-3, 1-0. Giacalone has come to Istria with six first round losses in a row in 2016 and advanced to his first semi-final of the season.
He will face Zdenek Kolar next. The 19-year-old Czech emerged victorious from the all-teen-affair with Romanian qualifier Bogdan Borza. Kolar capitalized on four of his nine break point chances to prevail in one hour and 14 minutes.
Yannick Maden knocked out with Victor Baluda the second remaining qualifier in the draw. The 26-year-old German sent down five aces, winning 75% of his first service points to seal victory in one hour and 14 minutes.
“I am very pleased with my performance today. To be honest, I didn’t expect to play so well, as I didn’t feel good during the first two rounds. I stayed concentrated, did hardly produce any unforced errors against a dangerous opponent. I had to fight hard during the first set but the longer the match lasted, the better I was able to read his game,” Maden told Tennis TourTalk after his match. The world number 596 captured his third ITF Future title in Shrewsbury two weeks ago and started his outdoor season in Istria last week.
“The start into the season wasn’t the best, as I didn’t play well during the indoor swing. Before I went to Shrewsbury I had to arrange my further schedule and I decided to go outdoors on clay. It’s not that easy, as conditions are pretty chilly and it’s windy. Last week in Rovinj, I had a difficult draw and didn’t play well and I considered to go home but it seemed to be a good choice to stay here,” he told with a smile. Maden is still a part-time student.
“I did my bachelor degree in the United States and played some college tennis over there. I was injured last year and sidelined from the courts for about six months. During that period it wouldn’t be sure if I was able to continue playing tennis and so I decided to start an online master programme last October. Sometimes, it is difficult to combine both things but my focus is still on tennis,” Maden explains.
“My goal is to get back to my personal career high (No. 432), which I achieved last February and then maybe climb even higher. Being inside the top 250 would be great in order to play the Grand Slams,” he added. Here in Porec, Maden will take on Vasile Antonesco in the semis.
“We just had a few words but he seems to be a nice guy. I haven’t seed him playing a lot. So we will see tomorrow what’s going to happen.”
The Romanian showed a decent performance when he took out seventh seed Jaume Munar through a comfortable 6-0, 6-4 victory. Antonesco converted six of his 10 break points, winning 66 of the 110 total points to advance after one hour and 28 minutes.