PULA, March 19, 2016
Three teenagers headlined Saturday’s semi-finals at the $10,000 Istarska Rivijera Futures in Pula, held at Arenaturist Sportscenter in Verudela.
18-year-old Pedro Martínez Portero cruised past Croatian wild card Antonio Sancic, winning 6-2, 6-2 in just under one hour. The Spanish youngster lost his service only once, converting five of his own six break point chances to reach his third final on the ITF Pro Circuit.
“Antonio didn’t play his best tennis today. I was a bit nervous but I tried to stay focused and I was pretty solid,” told Martínez Portero, who announced a couple of weeks ago that he has returned to his home town for practice. Before he stayed at Centro de Alto Rendimiento in Barcelona.
“I am from Valencia and wanted to stay at home. I wanted to change some things in order to improve my game and climb up the rankings. That’s why I came back.”
The world number 661 is a good friend of Jaume Munar.“We are very good friends and of the same age. I am just 10 days older. We were both in the Spanish Federation and have been practicing and travelling together a lot for the last two and a half years.”
Zdenek Kolar, however, denied an all-Spanish-final. The 19-year-old Czech, who captured his maiden title on the ITF Pro Circuit in Porec last Sunday and improved to a new career high 554th position, fought back to secure a 5-7, 7-5, 6-1 win over the second Spaniard in the draw. Kolar won 72% of his first service points, putting a lot of pressure on Munar with flat baseline shots to serve the match out after two hours and 24 minutes.
“I made a lot of easy mistakes in the first set but I improved throughout the second and third set. I also tried to find my way to the net. I am very happy with this win today,” Kolar told Tennis TourTalk.
“I didn’t feel that fresh in the morning but on the court it was better,” the youngster stated after winning nine matches in a row and added: “I like to fight on the court, so I am looking forward to the final.”
Later in the afternoon, Martínez Portero and Munar teamed up for the doubles final but lost to the Polish combination of Pawel Cias and Grzegorz Panfil 6-4, 3-6, 6-10 in one hour and 17 minutes.
“We tried to fight until the end. We didn’t have a good start into the match, losing our serves three times. In the second set we started to play more aggressively and served better,” Panfil told after winning his 22nd doubles title. Cias clinched his very first on the ITF Pro Circuit.
“It’s amazing and I am very happy to win my first title. Maybe we can repeat it next week,” Cias added. Both will play together again in Opatija.