Fourth victory also for Klein
Luca Giacomini remains the great protagonist of the Sparkasse Challenger Val Gardena Südtirol. From the qualifiers he reached the quarters of a challenger for the first time in his career, beating the Ukrainian Illya Marchenko in a comeback 4:6, 6:2, 7:6 (5) in the longest and most intense match of the tournament so far. Two hours and 38 minutes of great fight. Marchenko came to Val Gardena with the final at the Hamburg challenger last week and was the eve's favourite. In the first set a break in the first game was fatal for Giacomini. In the second set the outsider evened the score by breaking his opponent three times in a row, who is 487 places ahead of him in the ATP ranking (212 to 699). Down 2:4 in the third, Giacomini seemed doomed, but he broke 4:4 and won the tiebreak, which he played very well. He went ahead 5:1 and closed on the third matchpoint. "He's not the strongest player I've beaten in my career, but this is definitely the most important result so far," Giacomini said after the feat. "It was a crazy match, I played great so I'm happy.
The only thing I thought when I was down 2:4 in the third was to fight every point and break him to maybe win the game. I was lucky in some situations, it paid off. Now I play against Gaio or Forti. I didn't know, I didn't see the scoreboard. Let's see how it goes." The Italian derby is scheduled at 6pm as the last match of the day.
Lukas Klein also continues his run in Val Gardena. The finalist of last year's edition won the duel of the qualifiers against Mirza Basic (Bosnia-Herzegovina) by winning the two tiebreaks 7:6 (5), 7:6 (3) and scoring his fourth victory in five days in Ortisei. Klein is the highest ranked player in the world ranking present in Ortisei, but had to play the qualifiers because he was not on the entry list. The Slovak, number 181 this week in the ATP ranking, has won eight of his last nine matches in this tournament.