Andalucia Open Gets Underway In Marbella

Dominic Thiem returns to the ATP Challenger Tour in Marbella (photo: Brigitte Urban)

MARBELLA, March 27, 2022

The ATP Challenger Tour is back in Spain for the fifth edition of the AnyTech365 Andalucia Open hosted by the Club de Tenis Puente Romano in Marbella.

The €134,920 clay-court tournament features a brutal field consisting of 2020 US Open champion Dominic Thiem as the top seed. The World No. 50 from Austria is set to make his long-awaited return to the courts after being absent for close to a year. In his first appearance on the ATP Challenger Tour since 2015, Thiem will open his title bid against Argentine Pedro Cachin with Spanish veteran Fernando Verdasco possibly waiting in round two.

Three-time Grand-Slam champion Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland, who was awarded a wild card into the main draw, is facing Elias Ymer from Sweden in the first round. The 26-year-old Swede has enjoyed a fine season so far, reaching the semi-finals of the ATP 250 hard-court event in Pune, India and the second round of the Qatar Open in Doha.

The bottom half of the draw is led by World No. 65 Alex Molcan of Slovakia. The second favourite will face Italian Franco Agamenone. 2019 Marbella champion and third seed Pablo Andujar will also be part of the line-up and will start his home campaign against Italy’s Andrea Pellegrino. Fourth seed Jiri Vesely from the Czech Republic is taking on Russian alternate Andrey Kuznetsov in the first round.

Qualifying gets underway

The qualifying kicked off Sunday and most of the favourites booked their spot in the final round of the 24-man draw.

Top seed Lukas Klein of Slovakia defeated Frenchman Titouan Droguet 6-4, 6-3 in one hour and seven minutes. The World No. 269 will next meet eighth-seeded Spaniard Alvaro Lopez San Martin, who ousted French alternate Sadio Doumbia 6-3, 7-5.

Raul Brancaccio, No. 2 seed on the Costa del Sol, which has been hit by extremely heavy rain this week, eased past local teenager Pablo Llamas Ruiz 6-0, 6-2. The World No. 276 from Italy will play Matteo Martineau of France for a spot in the main draw.