Menendez-Maceiras loses out in Panama, rain disrupts play
Adrian Menendez-Maceiras may have won his first Challenger title in more than a decade last week, but the Spaniard was handed a straight sets defeat by sixth seed Henri Laaksonen in the second round of this week’s Challenger in Panama City. The Swiss, who has played with Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka as Davis Cup partners, won 6-2, 6-4.
Menendez-Maceiras moved up seventy places with his title win, but is still nearly one hundred places short of his career-best ranking of No. 111 achieved two years ago. Laaksonen’s return to form is a welcome one after a mixed run in the American Masters in Indian Wells and Miami. He qualified and reached the second round in Indian Wells but fell victim to young prodigy Miomir Kecmanovic in Miami qualifying.
Fifth seed Bjorn Fratangelo was forced to qualify after making a late decision to play this event. So far it has paid off with the American advancing to the quarter-finals after a hard-fought 5-7, 6-4, 7-5 win over Italian veteran Andrea Arnaboldi.
Rain halted play in other matches with Federico Coria leading Yannick Hanfmann by a set, with Blaz Rola and Mitchell Krueger having just started a decider after splitting the first two. Pedja Krstin and Sekou Bangoura had also taken to the court, but had not managed to get their match started before the skies opened.
Early round shocks had seen seventh seed Stefan Kozlov depart in round one, and top seed Horacio Zeballos was almost beaten by young Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic but managed to come back in three sets. Kecmanovic’s close loss only continues to enhance the teenager’s growing reputation as he seeks to increase his exposure and ranking on the main senior tour. Sekou Bangoura had also ousted eighth seed Joao Souza.