GRAN CANARIA/STARNBERG, March 4, 2022
Gianluca Mager emerged victorious from the all-Italian encounter with Raul Brancaccio to reach the semi-finals of the Gran Canaria Challenger. The No. 2 seed of the €45,730 clay-court tournament hosted by the El Cortijo Club de Campo won 6-2, 6-1 on Friday afternoon.
Mager sent down six aces and won 79 per cent of his first-service points to secure victory in one hour and nine minutes.
“I played my best match so far,” said Mager. “I knew that I need to get used to my first clay court tournament of the season. I felt good. It was important to show a good performance against a very prepared guy who will surely continue to climb up the rankings. I’m happy with how I served and how I managed to push while constantly keeping my opponent under pressure.”
Mager, a winner of four ATP Challenger crowns, parted ways with coach Flavio Cipolla and the 27-year-old from Liguria is now coached by Alessandro Petrone. “For me it is essential to work with people with whom I have a special relationship, which goes beyond work. I am happy and I hope to achieve great results with them.”
World No. 104 Mager will next take on Riccardo Bonadio of Italy, who rallied past US-American Nicolas Moreno de Alboran 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 after two hours and nine minutes.
In the top half of the draw, No. 1 seed Roberto Carballes Baena of Spain defeated Swiss qualifier Johan Nikles 6-1, 6-3. The World No. 79 from Tenerife capitalized on all of his six break-point chances to prevail after one hour and seven minutes.
Carballes Baena will next play Duje Ajdukovic of Croatia, who edged out No. 4 seed Salvatore Caruso from Italy 7-6(4), 1-6, 6-4. The encounter lasted two hours and 56 minutes.
Singles – Quarterfinals
Roberto Carballes Baena b. Johan Nikles 6-1 6-3
Duje Ajdukovic b. Salvatore Caruso 7-6(4) 1-6 6-4
Riccardo Bonadio b. Nicolas Moreno de Alboran 3-6 6-3 6-2
Gianluca Mager b. Raul Brancaccio 6-2 6-1
Doubles – Semi-finals
Sadio Doumbia/Fabien Reboul b. Javier Barranco Cosano/Raul Brancaccio 6-2 6-3
Matteo Arnaldi/Luciano Darderi b. Mark Vervoort/Miljan Zekic 6-4 6-4
— MEF tennis events (@meftennisevents) March 4, 2022