McCabe Earns Quarterfinals Spot At Malaga Open

James McCabe (photo: Julio Salcedo)


Australian teenager James McCabe continued his fine run of form in Southern Spain this week by reaching his first quarterfinal on the ATP Challenger Tour at the inaugural Malaga Open.

The 18-year-old qualifier defeated home favourite Nicolas Alvarez Varona 6-4, 6-1 in Thursday’s second-round match of the €45,730 hard-court event being held at the Inacua Racquet Centre, one of the largest tennis sports complexes on the Costa del Sol.

McCabe, a two-time finalist on the ITF World Tennis Tour, struck seven aces and won 78 per cent of his first-service points to advance in 61 minutes.


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“Nice conditions here. It was not that windy today. It was nice and fast,” the World No. 520 said afterwards. “I played a good match. I served alright in the first set and in the second I calmed down a bit, served and returned well. I am pretty happy about my level right now. Before this tournament, I didn’t have much confidence in my game but it’s all starting to work out now. I am just glad and happy. The crowd is amazing and whatever the future brings on, I am ready for it.”

McCabe, who was born in the Philippines and received a wild card into the doubles draw of this year’s Australian Open, will next take on No. 5 seed Emilio Gomez. The 30-year-old from Ecuador eased past Kaichi Uchida of Japan 6-1, 6-4. Gomez capitalized on all of his four break-point chances to prevail after one hour and 15 minutes.

Both scheduled matches in the top half of the draw were not played. Daniel Masur of Germany received a walkover from top seed Christopher O’Connell of Australia due to a right psoas injury. Indian qualifier Yuki Bhambri was forced to withdraw from his match against seventh-seeded US-American Michael Mmoh with gastroenteritis.