MAUTHAUSEN, May 4, 2022 (by Dietmar Kaspar)
Four second-round singles matches took place on Wednesday at the DANUBE Upper Austria Open. Two local players challenged the second and third seed of the ATP Challenger 100 event hosted by the Danubis Tennis Centre in Mauthausen.
Jurij Rodionov faced Colombian No. 3 seed Daniel Elahi Galan in the first singles match on Centre Court. After a close first set with set points on both sides, the left-handed Austrian dominated the encounter. The World No. 157 converted five of his seven break-point chances and dropped only one service game to claim a 7-5, 6-1 victory in 88 minutes.
“I started very solid in the beginning, but it is mentally really difficult to compete on clay against a player like Galan who never gives up,” Rodionov said. “On faster surfaces, which I prefer, you can get free points with the serve, but here you have to go for long rallies and play more tactical. At the end of the first set and from the beginning of the second set, I was able to play more aggressive and dominated the match.”
The 22-year-old, who clinched his fourth ATP Challenger career crown earlier this season in Biel, will next oppose Hungarian veteran Attila Balazs, who benefited from the retirement of Altug Celikbilek from Turkey in the second set.
Lehecka remains solid
No. 2 seed Jiri Lehecka met Austrian wild card entry Filip Misolic in the match of the day. The 20-year-old Czech gained two breaks and 11 points more than his rival of the same age to succeed 6-4, 6-4 in 84 minutes.
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“It was pretty tough because I was not 100 per cent fit, but I managed it thanks to the local as well as the ATP Physio,” World No. 88 Lehecka told Tennis TourTalk. “At the beginning of the match, I was not really focused. But then I found my rhythm and won a good match. I saw his first match against Rola, so I knew what I had to expect.”
Albot saves four match points
Next up for the Mlada Boleslav native will be No. 5 seed Radu Albot. The 31-year-old from Moldova had to word hard against Alexander Shevchenko of Russia, who is based at the Tennis Academy of Günter Bresnik. The match went the distance with a thrilling tie-breaker. Twenty-one-year-old Shevchenko got a 6-2 lead, but missed all of his match points. With both players scoring 102 points, the World No. 120 secured a 2-6, 6-3, 7-6(9) win after two hours and 43 minutes.
“I am a little bit happy, a little bit tired and also very lucky that I survived this match. I was able to save all the match points and in the end, I am the winner,” Albot said.
Second round – Main draw
Jurij Rodionov (AUT) – Daniel Elahi Galan (COL) 7-5, 6-1
Attila Balazs (HUN) – Altug Celikbilek (TUR) 7-6(0), 3-0 ret.
Jiri Lehecka (CZE) – Filip Misolic (AUT) 6-4, 6-4
Radu Albot (MDA) – Alexander Shevchenko 2-6, 6-3, 7-6(9)
Second-round singles matches will conclude on Thursday. Play in Mauthausen will start at 10 a.m. local time.