Carballes Baena To Face Mager For Gran Canaria Challenger Crown

Roberto Carballes Baena (photo: Marta Magni/MEF Tennis Events)


The top two seeds of the Gran Canaria Challenger will compete in Sunday’s singles final of the €45,730 clay-court tournament hosted by the El Cortijo Club de Campo in Telde.

Roberto Carballes Baena of Spain fought past Duje Ajdukovic from Croatia 6-3, 7-6(4) in the stage of the last four on Saturday. The No. 1 seed withstood six aces and broke his opponent’s serve four times to secure victory in one hour and 51 minutes.

“It wasn’t easy to face a player, who doesn’t give rhythm,” Carballes Baena said. “I complicated my life in the second set but I think I can be satisfied with my performance. The final? It will be an important match. I will give everything to win the trophy.”

Earlier in the afternoon, second favourite Gianluca Mager emerged victorious from the all-Italian encounter with Riccardo Bonadio, winning 6-2, 7-6(5). Mager struck nine aces and won 79 per cent of his first-service points to prevail after one hour and 38 minutes.

“Bonadio is an excellent player, actually better than his ranking (World No. 276) states,” said Mager. “I was expecting a complicated match and so it was. I played a good first set, also taking advantage of his mistakes. The second was a battle in which I was good in the important moments.

“I flew to Gran Canaria with no particular expectations. The goal was to play as many matches as possible. I’m proud to be in the final and even more proud of my attitude on the court. I fought for every point right from the first round.”

Mager is bidding for his fourth ATP Challenger career title. Carballes Baena could lift his ninth Challenger trophy. The 28-year-old Spaniard won both of the two previous meetings between the two.

Frenchmen lift doubles trophies

In other action, Sadio Doumbia and Fabien Reboul clinched the doubles title. The top seeds from France rallied from a set down to overcome Matteo Arnaldi and Luciano Darderi of Italy 5-7, 6-4, 10-7. The encounter lasted one hour and 27 minutes.

By winning their 10th ATP Challenger team title, their second of the season after Forli, Italy in January, Doumbia and Reboul split €2,670 in prize money and pocketed 80 ATP Doubles Ranking points.