LUGANO/STARNBERG, March 30, 2022
In-form Austrian Jurij Rodionov, champion of last week’s Flowbank Challenger Biel/Bienne continues his good run of form on Swiss soil by reaching the second round of the Challenger Banca stato Città di Lugano. The World No. 201 knocked out local hero Dominic Stricker, No. 8 seed and defending champion of the €45,730 ATP Challenger indoor hard-court tournament, 6-3, 7-5 on Tuesday afternoon.
Rodionov fired 15 aces, saved all three break points he faced and converted two of his own five break-point chances to prevail after one hour and 14 minutes.
“Opening victory in Lugano! I prevail against Dominic Stricker after a focused and mentally very mature performance in two sets. The serve worked very well again, I was able to take advantage of the few chances and in the end. I deserved to win,” Rodionov wrote on Facebook.
The 22-year-old will next take on Yuichi Sugita of Japan, who beat South Korean qualifier Yunseong Chung 6-3, 6-4 in one hour and 24 minutes.
Copil defeats Novak
In other action, Romanian veteran Marius Copil edged past No. 6 seed Dennis Novak of Austria 6-4, 2-6, 6-3. The 31-year-old Arad native broke his rival’s serve three times and won 51 per cent of the total points played to seal victory in one hour and 35 minutes.
Copil, who captured his first singles title in almost six years by winning the ITF World Tennis Tour M25 event in Portimao, Portugal earlier this month, will next face Otto Virtanen. The qualifier from Finland cruised past 16-year-old Swiss wild card entry Kilian Feldbausch 6-1, 6-2. The encounter lasted only 51 minutes.
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