Bellucci loses again after twelve victories
The day after Andreas Seppi was knocked out of the Sparkasse Challenger Val Gardena Südtirol, Luca Nardi underlined his claim to the tournament title in Val Gardena/Gröden. The Italian, seeded No. 3, won his round of 16 match against qualifier Evgeni Karlovskyi 6-0, 6-4 on Wednesday and became the first player to reach the quarter-finals of the € 45,730 tournament in Ortisei.
Up to 5:2 in the second set, the 19-year-old Italian (number 131 in the world) played without fault, at 5:3 he had to accept a break, but he fought back with a re-break and was of course satisfied: "I played very well especially in the first set. After that he got better, but I'm already satisfied with how I played." He will face Slovakia's Lukas Klein in Friday's quarter-finals, who benefited from Nerman Fatic's retirement at 6-3, 2-2.
Giulio Zeppieri, the second hopeful from Italy, also entered the quarter-finals on Wednesday. He won the duel with Stefano Travaglia 6:3, 6:2. The first set was won by the number 5 of the tournament after a break to 4:2. In the second set Zeppieri moved up to 4:0 and did not let himself be deprived of the victory. The 20-year-old was also satisfied: "It was a tough match in which I always tried to make my game. Stefano is a strong opponent when you let him make his game. It doesn't matter who I play in the quarter-finals. Gojo is strong indoors, Hanfmann is also a very good opponent."
The last four quarter-finalists will be decided on Thursday from 12.30pm. In action again then will be No. 1 seed Tomas Machac from the Czech Republic.
After two tournament wins at the Challengers in Saint-Tropez and Vilnius and twelve singles victories in total, Mattia Bellucci lost in the 1st round in Val Gardena today. The 21-year-old was visibly tired and had to admit defeat to Frenchman Antoine Escoffier 6:7 (3), 4:6, although he had caught up a break in the 2nd set.
To the delight of the crowd in Val Gardena, Dustin Brown from Germany reached the quarter-finals in the doubles. Together with Andrea Vavassori, he beat Machac and Tomas Poljak 7:6 (4), 6:3.