ATP Quito Preview: South American clay swing gets under way, Ivo Karlovic leads the field - UBITENNIS
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ATP Quito Preview: South American clay swing gets under way, Ivo Karlovic leads the field

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Ivo Karlovic is the top seed in Quito, but does not have the best record on South American clay (Zimbio.com)

The first ATP event of the South American clay season gets under way in Quito this week, with a number of South American based players looking to gain some ATP points.

6’11 Ivo Karlovic, is the top seed, at No.19. The Croat is normally more successful on fast hard and grass courts, but has had success on clay occasionally, having won the US Men’s Clay Court Championships back in 2007. American clay is considered very different from the European and South American version, though, with the American variant considered far quicker than the norm.

More typical clay experts also litter the draw. Albert Ramos-Vinolas is in the bottom half of the draw, and is joined by third seed Paolo Lorenzi.

Thomaz Belllucci is the fourth seed, and is in the same section of the draw as top seed Karlovic. Defending champion Victor Estrella Burgos made headlines when he won the event in 2015, and followed it with a second consecutive title in 2016. He is successful at this event, but is unseeded, starting against Andrej Martin before a potential meeting with Karlovic in the second round.

Eighth seed Renzo Olivo can look at the time between the 2016 event and this year’s championships very fondly. The Argentinian needed to qualify for this event in 2016, but is now seeded this time around.

Karlovic, Ramos-Vinolas, Lorenzi, and Bellucci all benefit from byes in the first round as the top four seeds.

ATP Quito Draw (with picks in bold):

(1) Ivo Karlovic – Bye

Andrej Martin vs Victor Estrella Burgos

Joao Souza vs (Q) Federico Gaio

Gerald Melzer vs (6) Horacio Zeballos

(4) Thomaz Bellucci – Bye

Daniel Gimeno-Traver vs (WC) Janko Tipsarevic

Benjamin Becker vs Santiago Giraldo

(WC) Emilio Gomez vs (8) Renzo Olivo

(5) Alexandr Dolgopolov vs Rajeev Ram

Nicolas Kicker vs Guido Andreozzi

(Q) Agustin Velotti vs (PR) Matthew Ebden

Bye – (3) Paolo Lorenzi

(7) Thiago Monteiro vs Giovanni Lapentti

(Q) Roberto Carballes Baena vs Rogerio Dutra Silva

(Q) Alejandro Falla vs Alessandro Giannessi

Bye – (2) Albert Ramos-Vinolas

  • I personally like the chances of Thiago Monteiro. The young Brazilian has some very good wins on this surface including over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, and is certainly a dark horse to do well.

 

 

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Giovanni Mpetchi Perricard claims his first ATP title in Lyon

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Giovanni Mpetchi Perricard battled past sixth seed Tomas Martin Etcheverry 6-4 1-6 7-6 (9-7) in a thrilling final at the Open Parc tournament in Lyon. 

Mpetchi Perricard saved four break points in the first game of the opening set to hold serve at deuce. Etcheverry converted his third break point in the fifth game and held serve at love to take a 4-2 lead. Mpetchi Perricard won four consecutive games to clinch the first set 6-4. 

Etcheverry broke three times to win the second set 6-1. 

The third set went on serve until the 11th game when Mpetchi Perricard converted his third break point to take a 6-5 lead. Etcheverry broke straight back to draw level to 6-6. Mpetchi Perricard was a point away from defeat at 6-7 in the tie-break of the third set, but he reeled off the final three points to win the tie-break 9-7 on his second championship point. 

Mpetchi Perricard won three Challenger Tour titles this year in Nottingham, Cuernavaca and Acapulco. He beat Lorenzo Sonego, Yoshihito Nishioka, Hugo Gaston and Alexander Bublik en route to his first ATP Tour title in Lyon.

Mpetchi Perricard is the son of footballer player Ghislain Mpetchi, who is of Congolese origin. He sister Daphnée Perricard is also a tennis player. 

“It was crazy. It was a very good final. I was down in the second set, but I managed to do better. I am very happy to win this tournament and now I have a lot of confidence for Roland Garros”, said Mpetchi Perricard.

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Casper Ruud claims the third title of his career in Geneva

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Casper Ruud claimed the third title of his career at the Gonet Geneva Open after his previous triumphs at this tournament in 2021 and 2022. 

Ruud did double duty after rain postponed his semifinal match to Saturday. Ruud saved a match point to beat Flavio Cobolli 1-6 6-1 7-6 (7-4) in the semifinal. He returned less than three hours to defeat Tomas Machac 7-5 6-3 in the final. Ruud clinched the ATP Tour title of his career. 

Machac went up a break in the third game of the first set to take a 3-1 lead. Ruud won three consecutive games from 4-5 down with two breaks in the first set after Machac committed a double fault while he was holding a set point on serve at 5-4. 

Ruud broke serve in the second game of the second set. The Norwegian player held on his next service games and served out the win on his first match point in 1 hour and 47 minutes. 

Ruud improved to 2-0 in his two head-to-head matches against Machac. “It was a challenging week. All the matches are tough, no matter who will play. It was tough to find a groove. The weather has been a bit challenging all week, but today was fantastic. I feel very happy to win again to win again here in Geneva. It’s been a very good season so far”, said Ruud. 

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Casper Ruud saves a match point to beat Flavio Cobolli in the semifinal in Geneva

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Second seed Casper Ruud came back from one set down to beat Flavio Cobolli 1-6 6-1 7-6 (7-4) in 1 hour and 51 minutes in the semifinal of the Gonet Geneva Open. Ruud set up a final against Tomas Machac, who upset Novak Djokovic 6-4 0-6 6-1 in yesterday’s semifinal.

Cobolli earned his first break in the second game with a forehand winner. The world number 56 broke for the second time to love in the sixth game to close out the first set 6-1. 

Ruud earned two breaks in the fourth and sixth games to win the second set 6-1. 

Cobolli saved two break points in the first game of the third set before converting his third break point to open up a 3-0 lead. Ruud broke back in the seventh game and held serve to 30 to draw level to 4-4. 

Ruud, who won two titles in Geneva in 2021 and 2022, saved a match point on serve at 4-5 30-40 in the third set. The Norwegian player went up a 4-0 lead with three mini-breaks in the tie-break before going on to seal the win. 

Cobolli hit eight aces and won 67% of his first serve points. The Italian player hit 38 winners to 21 unforced errors. Ruud hit 12 winners to 6 unforced errors. 

“It was very difficult. I was one point away from losing. I was able to hang in there and it was a very tough match. I am happy to have been able to come back in the third set and pull through. It was a good confidence win for me and I am looking forward to the final”, said Ruud. 

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