Bagnis Fights Past Tirante, Reaches Ambato Challenger Final

Facundo Bagnis and Thiago Tirante (photo: Ambato Challenger)

AMBATO/STARNBERG, October 23, 2022

Argentine Facundo Bagnis and Brazilian Joao Lucas Reis Da Silva will contest Sunday’s singles final of the Ambato La Gran Ciudad ATP Challenger at the Club Tungurahua.

In the midday sun and at an altitude of 2,500 metres, second-seeded Bagnis battled past his compatriot and defending champion Thiago Tirante 6-3, 6-7(3), 7-6(5) in the semis on Saturday. In probably the tournament’s most exciting match of the week so far, Bagnis was a set and break up but his 258th-ranked rival fought for every ball, leveled the score and forced a tie-break in the second set, which he took 7-3.

In a final set without any breaks, the World No. 114 closed the match out in the tie-break to secure victory in two hours and 41 minutes.

“Only a few points made the difference,” said Bagnis. “That’s tennis and even more so in these conditions. I think that in the third set he played better than me. It was a battle and the match could have gone either way.”

Reis da Silva knocks out top seed

Later in the afternoon, Reis da Silva upset top seed Juan Pablo Varillas of Peru 6-4, 6-4. The World No. 428 struck 10 aces and won 85 per cent of his first-service points to prevail after one hour and 11 minutes.

“I’m not used to compete with players of that level, of that ranking, but when we enter the court I give everything and I do everything to win. That’s what I’m doing this week and what I can do tomorrow as well,” said the Recife-born player, who is chasing his first ATP Challenger title.

“The first match I played here was very tough, as third seed (Ficovich) plays very well at altitude. It was a very tough match, but I was able to take him out and it gave me a lot of confidence that I could do good things this week and I am very happy to play in the final tomorrow,” said Reis da Silva.

Bagnis won the only previous meeting between the two. The 32-year-old Rosario native could lift his 16th Challenger career trophy, his second of the season following his triumph in Pereira, Colombia in early April.

Rodriguez Taverna/Tirante triumph in doubles

In other action, Santiago Rodriguez Taverna and Thiago Tirante captured the doubles title. The unseeded Argentines defeated No. 4 seeds Benjamin and Courtney John Lock of Zimbabwe 7-6(11), 6-3 in one hour and 34 minutes.

By winning their first team title, Rodriguez Taverna and Tirante split $3,100 in prize money and earned 80 ATP Doubles Ranking points.