RA’ANANA, March 29, 2016
The ATP Challenger Tour returns for the second time to Ra’anana, where the $125,000 Israel Open is taking place this week.
The hard court event features four top 100 players with first seed Evgeny Donskoy starting his title bid on Tuesday with a 6-1, 6-0 victroy over local wild card Daniel Cukierman. The world number 82 from Russia didn’t face a break point, converting six of his eight own chances to advance after only 47 minutes. Donskoy will face fellow countryman Daniil Medvedev, who cruised past Lucas Miedler from Austria 6-1, 6-2 in 51 minutes.
The tournament’s number three Ricardas Berankis also made it to the second round, winning 6-3, 6-3 against Radu Albot. The world number 86 from Lithuania capitalized on six of his 10 break points to prevail in one hour and 16 minutes. Berankis will play Denys Molchanov next, who beat Marko Tepavac from Serbia 6-4, 7-5
Eighth seed Marco Chiudinelli, who captured the Wroclaw Open Challenger title last month, had to work hard and needed to save two match points in order to overcome Alexander Kudryavtsev, winning 4-6, 7-6, 7-6. The 34-year-old from Switzerland withstood 12 aces, breaking his opponent’s serve three times to finish the encounter after two hours and 22 minutes. Chiudinelli won his 12th straight tie-break on the ATP Challenger Tour to face either fourth seed Lukas Lacko or Italian qualifier Gianluigi Quinzi in the second round.
The point of the day took place in the encounter between Andrea Arnaboldi and Gerard Granollers when the Italian struck a tweener lob. Arnaboldi also won the match 7-5, 6-3.