Quiroz Overcomes Watanuki At Salinas Challenger

Roberto Quiroz (photo: SalinasOpenEC/Armando Prado)


Home favourite Roberto Quiroz saved five set points in the first set to defeat Japanese Yosuke Watanuki 7-6(7), 6-2 and reach the second round of the Salinas Challenger Banco Guayaquil Cup presented by CNT.

On a sunny Tuesday with high humidity at the Salinas Golf & Tennis Club in Ecuador, the World No. 365 converted three of his seven break-point chances to secure victory in one hour and 42 minutes.

“I knew it was going to be very hard,” said Quiroz. “I have known Watanuki for a long time. The first set was very close, we both had our chances, some set points for him and for me, but I think the key was to stay focused, going point by point. I think that my serve, at times, worked well, although we have to keep working on it, but it gave me the advantage, especially at the end of the first set. It was a good moment and I continued to play well.”

Thirty-year-old Quiroz, a winner of five singles titles on the ITF Pro Circuit, will next take on No. 8 seed Nicolas Mejia of Colombia.

“I have been working with Nico’s team for six months and it will be a nice match,” Quiroz said of his upcoming opponent. “I am going to try to give everything. I know that he is on the rise, he likes to play here, he made the final last year and he feels comfortable with the conditions. today I am going to recover and enjoy a little and we will plan tomorrow’s match which will be a great duel.”

In other action, No. 2 seed Christopher Eubanks opened his title bid with a hard-fought 6-7(4), 6-2, 6-3 win over Japanese qualifier Sho Shimabukuro. The 25-year-old US-American struck 12 aces and won 78 per cent of his first-service points to prevail after two hours and 13 minutes. Eubanks will next face his compatriot Nicolas Moreno de Alboran, who battled past another qualifier from Japan, Naoki Nakagawa, 6-7(4), 6-4, 6-4. The encounter lasted two hours and 54 minutes.

JC Aragone caused the upset of the day by knocking fourth-seeded Indian Ramkumar Ramanathan 4-6, 6-1, 7-6(5). The World No. 376 from the United States outpointed his rival 95-91 after two hours and three minutes and will play Yunseong Chung of South Korea in the second round.

Tuesday Results

Singles – First Round

Roberto Quiroz ECU a Yosuke Watanuki JAP 7-6(7), 6-2

Christopher Eubanks USA a Sho Shimabukuro JAP 6-7(4), 6-2, 6-3

Tung-Lin Wu TPE a Nicolás Kicker ARG 6-1, 6-1

Nicolás Moreno de Alborán USA a Naoki Nakawaga JAP 6-7(4), 6-4, 6-4

JC Aragone USA a Ramkumar Ramanathan IND 4-6, 6-1, 7-6(5)

Nicolás Álvarez PER a Nick Hardt DOM 6-7(2), 7-6(3), 6-1

Felix Corwin USA a Aziz Dougaz TUN 7-6(6), 6-3

Michail Pervolarakis a Rinky Hijikata AUS 6-4, 3-6, 6-4

Andrea Collarini ARG a Matías Descotte ARG 7-5, 6-3

Yunseong Chung KOR a Blu Baker GBR 6-2, 6-3

Alexander Ritschard SUI a Brandon Holdt USA 6-2, 6-2

Doubles – First Round

Cayetano March ECU/Sho Shimabukuro JAP a Daniel Dutra Da Silva BRA/ Facundo Juarez ARG 4-6, 6-2, 12-10