Kovalik To Face Sels For NÖ Open Challenger Title

Jozef Kovalik (photo: Brigitte Urban)

TULLN, September 9, 2022

Two unseeded players have reached the singles final of the NÖ Open powered by EVN in Tulln an der Donau, as Jozef Kovalik of Slovakia and Dutch qualifier Jelle Sels will compete in the championship match on Saturday.

Kovalik battled past Elias Ymer from Sweden, No. 4 seed of the €90,280 ATP Challenger Tour clay-court event in Lower Austria, 7-5, 3-6, 6-4 on Friday. The 29-year-old Bratislava native capitalized on four of his five break-point chances, won one point less than his opponent but secured victory in two hours and 26 minutes.

Later in the afternoon and after a rain delay, Sels knocked out third-seeded Slovakian Norbert Gombos 6-4, 7-6(4). The World No. 255 withstood 11 aces and broke his rival two times to prevail after one hour and 57 minutes.

Following four triumphs on the ITF Pro Circuit, the 27-year-old Sels is bidding for his first Challenger crown. 201st-ranked Kovalik could lift his sixth career trophy, his first since the 2019 Maia Open in Portugal. The pair will meet for the first time.

Top seeds Alexander Erler and Lucas Miedler of Austria will take on fourth favourites Zdenek Kolar from the Czech Republic and Denys Molchanov of Ukraine in the doubles final, which is scheduled for 11 a.m. local time. The singles final will be played not before 2 p.m.