Quiroz, Gomez Into Challenger Salinas Semi-Finals

Roberto Quiroz (photo: SalinasOpenEC/Armando Prado)


Home favourites Emilio Gomez and Roberto Quiroz have both reached the semi-finals of the Challenger de Salinas Copa Banco Guayaquil presentado por CNT, being held at Salinas Golf & Tennis Club in Ecuador. Top seed Gomez ended the run of US-American qualifier Felix Corwin, winning 6-1, 7-5 in Thursday’s quarterfinal match.

The World No. 148 saved the only break point he faced and capitalized on three of his own six break-point chances to prevail after one hour and 18 minutes.

“The first set went pretty fast,” said Gomez. “I also broke serve in the first game of the second set but my rival made it pretty uncomfortable. Obviously I was the favorite because of the higher ranking and I felt pressure to win today, but I knew what I had to do to win the match.”

Gomez will next take on No. 6 seed Alexander Ritschard from Switzerland, who knocked off third-seeded Argentine Camilo Ugo Carabelli 6-2, 6-3.

“We practiced this week here and we know each other quite a bit,” Gomez said of his upcoming opponent. “He is a guy who plays fast, he is aggressive. We hope that a lot of people come out to watch the match and support us.”

Quiroz finds new motivation

Later on Cancha Central, Quiroz rallied past JC Aragone from the United States 2-6, 7-6(4), 6-4. The 30-year-old Guayaquil native converted four of his seven break points to secure victory in two hours and 22 minutes.

After reaching the quarterfinals at the Delray Beach Beach Open ATP 250 tournament in January last year, Quiroz had a poor run of results in the remainder of that year and also at the beginning of 2022.

“For many weeks I lost in the first round and dropped a lot in the ranking,” said the World No. 365 and added that he even considered retiring from professional tennis.

“I think the Davis Cup was the turning point. At the beginning of the year I had two consecutive losses and I couldn’t find the right motivation. I was wondering if maybe it’s time to look at other options. I thought about retirement many times and I thought about it last year, too. Juan (Mateus, his coach) has been an important person in keeping me there, strong, training, not faltering, week after week, defeat after defeat, and this year we are beginning to see good results, good matches, and this is a reward for that effort.”

Quiroz, a winner of five singles title on the ITF Pro Circuit, is seeking his first trophy since 2017. In his first semi-final on the ATP Challenger Tour since Columbus 2019, the Ecuadorian will take on US-American Nicolas Moreno de Alboran, who upset No. 7 seed Andrea Collarini of Argentina 6-3, 7-6(4). The encounter lasted two hours and 12 minutes.