ROSETO DEGLI ABRUZZI/STARNBERG, March 14, 2022
Main draw action of Regione Abruzzo Aterno Gas & Power Cup II, the second leg of the €45,730 ATP Challenger Tour back-to-back clay-court tournaments hosted by the Tennis Club Roseto in Roseto Degli Abruzzi, got underway on Monday.
Wild card entry Flavio Cobolli continued his fine run of form on home soil by beating fellow Italian Fernando Gaio 6-3, 6-4. The 19-year-old Florence native, who reached the semi-finals last week, sent down three aces and won 73 per cent of his first-service points to advance to the second round after one hour and 33 minutes.
Cobolli, the 2020 French Open boys’ doubles champion alongside Dominic Stricker, will next take on either World No. 74 Jiri Vesely from the Czech Republic or Croatian alternate Nino Serdarusic.
Vesely, who reached the ATP Tour 500 final in Dubai beating then World No. 1 Novak Djokovic en route to the title match, will be the tournament’s top seed. “My ranking dropped before the tournament in Dubai, so that’s why I chose to play Challengers on clay in Europe,” said Vesely in Roseto.
“I am happy to back in competition and I am looking forward to my first-round match tomorrow. After Dubai I felt physically exhausted and took five days off. I played seven matches in eight days against top players. It was very hard and I felt a bit sick. Now, I have practiced for one week and I hope I will play well again. It’s my first tournament on clay. It’s never easy to change the surface but I played good tennis Dubai and hope to keep going here.”
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Chun-Hsin Tseng of Chinese Taipei opened his campaign in Central Italy with a hard-fought 7-6(2), 7-6(4) victory over French alternate Mathias Bourgue. The No. 8 seed outpointed his rival 100-92 after two hours and 35 minutes. Tseng now awaits the winner of the all-Italian affair between Franco Agamenone and Lorenzo Giustino.
In other action, Portuguese veteran Gastao Elias benefited from the retirement of No. 5 seed Bernabe Zapata Miralles. The 31-year-old from Lourinha was leading 6-3, 2-0 when the Spaniard was forced to stop playing due to a right leg injury. Elias will next face either Timofey Skatov from Kazakhstan or local wild card entry Andrea Del Federico.