MALAGA/STARNBERG, July 1, 2022
World No. 151 Emilio Gomez of Ecuador fought past Australian qualifier James McCabe 6-2, 4-6, 6-1 on Friday to reach the semi-final of the inaugural Malaga Open. The fifth seed of the €45,730 hard-court event being held at the Inacua Racquet Centre, who captured his third ATP Challenger career title on home soil in Salinas earlier in the season, broke his rival seven times and won 56 per cent of the total points played to secure victory in one hour and 58 minutes.
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“It was not that hot day but it was a difficult match, not easy for me. I was a bit nervous in the beginning but tomorrow will be another opportunity to play better,” said Gomez, who will take on sixth-seeded Turkish Altug Celikbilek. The 25-year-old Antalya native ended the run of local wild card entry Alberto Barroso Campos, winning 7-5, 2-6, 6-3 in two hours and 28 minutes.
“It was a tough match for me,” Celikbilek said. “I was struggling with my confidence but this tournament has been great to gain some confidence. The atmosphere was great, although the crowd was against me but we are in Spain. It was fun to play. Everything was perfect.”
In the top half of the draw, Michael Mmoh rallied past Daniel Masur from Germany 4-6, 6-3, 6-4. The No. 7 seed from the United States struck eight aces and won 68 per cent of his first-service points to prevail after two hours and 30 minutes. Mmoh will next play No. 4 seed Constant Lestienne of France, who battled past Canadian Steven Diez 6-1, 3-6, 7-6(6). The encounter lasted two hours and 57 minutes.