Varillas Leads Semi-Final Line-Up At Ambato Challenger

Juan Pablo Varillas (photo: Ambato Challenger)

AMBATO/STARNBERG, October 22, 2022

Top seed Juan Pablo Varillas leads the semi-final line-up of the Ambato La Gran Ciudad, an ATP Challenger Tour 80 clay-court tournament that runs until Sunday in Ecuador. The 123rd-ranked Peruvian defeated Nicolas Mejilla of Colombia 6-2, 7-6(7) on Friday.

Varillas broke his rival’s serve two times and won 52 per cent of the total points played to advance in one hour and 47 minutes.

Up next for Varillas, who is seeking his fifth ATP Challenger career crown and first title of the season, will be 22-year-old Brazilian Joao Lucas Reis da Silva. The Recife native beat Milan Zekic from Serbia 7-6(1), 6-1 in one hour and nine minutes.

Thiago Tirante emerged victorious from the all-Argentine affair with No. 4 seed Facundo Mena, winning 6-2, 7-5. The defending champion and this year’s No. 8 seed sent down six aced, saved all of the 10 break points he faced and converted three of his own six break-point chances to succeed in one hour and 34 minutes.

Tirante will play his second-seeded compatriot Facundo Bagnis in the semi-finals. The World No. 114 edged past fellow Argentine Santiago Rodriguez Taverna 6-4, 6-3 in one hour and 23 minutes.

“With Facu (Bagnis) I played twice. He is a very difficult player, very complete. He serves very well, he hits the first balls very hard, he is left-handed,” said Tirante. “It’s going to be a very nice match and I hope it goes the best way.”