Varillas Opens Title Bid With Win At Challenger Villa Maria

Juan Pablo Varillas (photo: Challenger Villa Maria)

VILLA MARIA/STARNBERG, September 22, 2022

World No. 102 Juan Pablo Varillas opened his title bid at the Challenger Dove Men+Care Villa Maria with a hard-fought first-round 5-7, 6-4, 6-3 win on Wednesday over fellow Peruvian Nicolas Alvarez. 

The top seed of the $53,120 clay-court event being held at the Sport Social Club in Villa Maria, Argentina, sent down six aces and won 65 per cent of his first-service points to prevail after two hours and 46 minutes.

Varillas, who is seeking his fifth ATP Challenger Tour career crown, his first of the season, will next take on Facundo Acosta Diaz of Argentina.

Juan Bautista Otegui also booked his place in the second round following a solid 6-0, 6-2 victory over Dmitry Popko from Kazakhstan. The 23-year-old local wild card entry saved both break points he faced and converted five of his own eight break-point opportunities to advance in only 57 minutes. Up next for Otegui will be his compatriot and No. 8 seed Juan Manuel Cerundolo.

In other action, Yannick Hanfmann benefited from the retirement of Francisco Comesana from Argentina after the fifth-seeded German had won the opening set 6-1. Comesana struggled with a left leg injury. Hanfmann will play Pol Martin Tiffon of Spain in the second round.