Lestienne, Gomez Reach Malaga Open Final

Constant Lestienne (photo: Julio Salcedo)


Constant Lestienne and Emilio Gomez will compete in Sunday’s singles final of the inaugural Malaga Open. No. 4 seed Lestienne fought past seventh-seeded US-American Michael Mmoh 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 in the stage of the last four.

Under the lights on Center Court at the Inacua Racquet Centre, one of the largest tennis sports complexes on the Costa del Sol, the 30-year-old Frenchman capitalized on four of his nine break-point chances to secure victory in two hours and 18 minutes.

Earlier on Saturday, No. 5 seed Gomez rallied past sixth favourite Altug Celikbilek of Turkey 5-7, 7-6(0), 7-6(0). The World No. 151 from Ecuador withstood 11 aces and broke his rival’s serve three times to prevail after two hours and 49 minutes.

“It was a really tough one today, a long match, physically hard,” Gomez said. “Thanks to the crowd for the support. It feels like playing at home here. I am looking forward to tomorrow.”


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Gomez is seeking his fourth ATP Challenger career crown, his second of the season following his triumph on home soil in Salinas in April. Lestienne could lift his fourth Challenger trophy, his first since Alicante, Spain in October last year.

The pair will meet for the first time.