Maestrelli Advances At Challenger Francavilla Al Mare

Francesco Maestrelli


Italian teenager Francesco Maestrelli has reached his first quarterfinal on the ATP Challenger Tour. The 19-year-old Pisa native rallied from a set down to overcome Billy Harris from Great Britain 2-6, 6-3, 6-2 in Thursday’s second-round at the Challenger Francavilla al Mare.

Maestrelli, who entered the main draw of the €32,160 clay-court event with a wild card, sent down five aces and won 61 per cent of his first-service points to seal victory in two hours and 38 minutes.

The World No. 512, a winner of two ITF World Tennis Tour singles titles, will next take on Mathias Bourgue. The seventh-seeded Frenchman benefited from the retirement of Yibing Wu of China. Bourgue was leading 7-5, 3-0 when Wu was forced to stop playing due to illness.

“It was tough today, a mixture of sun and shadow on the court. It was also a bit windy, which made it difficult to feel the ball and to play my game but I found a way to win the first set,” Bourgue said. “I don’t know what happened then. He seemed to feel tired and he told me that he was sick. So, he finally pulled out. Lucky me but I think I was playing the right way to win in straight sets.

“I played here four years ago. I like the tournament. The people are nice. The food is very good. That’s why I decided to come back.”

In other action, Dan Added fought past Italian Filippo Baldi 6-3, 0-6, 6-4. The 23-year-old from France capitalized on five of his 12 break-point chances and won six points more than his opponent to prevail after almost two hours of play.

“The second set was really tough for me. I did a lot of errors and my opponent played much better than in the first set. Then, I just tried to take more risk and I am happy with the win,” Added said. Added, who has a grandfather from Italy, always enjoys his time in Italy and wants to extend his stay in the Abruzzo region.

The World No. 391 will next play home favourite Matteo Arnaldi. The No. 4 seed eased past Polish qualifier Pawel Cias 6-1, 6-2 in one hour and 10 minutes.