Galarneau Fights Into Challenger Francavilla Semis

Alexis Galarneau


Three seeded players and one local wild card entry have reached the semi-finals of the Challenger Francavilla al Mare, an €32,160 clay-court event being held at the Circolo Tennis Francavilla al Mare Sporting Club.

In Friday’s longest quarterfinal match, fifth favourite Alexis Galarneau rallied from a set down to overcome US-American Alex Rybakov 2-6, 6-3, 6-4. The World No. 309 from Canada won four points less than his opponent but was wide awake in the crucial moments to secure victory in two hours and 13 minutes.

“It was a really good match against a good friend and my doubles partner this week. It’s never easy to play a friend,” Galarneau said afterwards. “I thought we both played well. I raised my level. We gave a good show out there with a great crowd. It was a good day.”

Galarneau, who has clinched one singles title on the ITF World Tennis Tour and is seeking his maiden Challenger crown this week in Italy, will next take on 19-year-old Francesco Maestrelli. The 512th-ranked Italian teenager continued his fine run of form on home soil by knocking out seventh-seeded Frenchman Mathias Bourgue, 3-6, 6-3, 6-1. Maestrelli converted all of his five break-point chances to advance to the stage of the last four at Challenger level for the first time after almost two hours of play.

In other action, No. 4 seed Andrea Arnaldi of Italy cruised past Dan Added from France 6-1, 6-0 in 61 minutes and will take on sixth-seeded Argentine Hernan Casanova in the semis. The 28-year-old Buenos Aires native won by retirement, as No. 2 seed Mate Valkusz of Hungary was forced to stop playing with Casanova leading 7-6(4), 5-3.

In Saturday’s doubles final, Dan Added and Hernan Casanova will face the all-Italian combination of David Pozzi and Augusto Virgili.