Evening dedicated to Andreas Seppieas Seppi
Two out of four Italians reached the semifinals at the Sparkasse Challenger Val Gardena Südtirol. Andrea Vavassori and Flavio Cobolli can still win the most important tennis tournament in South Tyrol, while Luca Nardi and Giulio Zeppieri went out in the quarters.
Andrea Vavassori signed the feat of the day. After a false start, the 27-year-old from Turin eliminated the tournament's first seed, Czech Tomas Machac, 1-6, 6-3 6-4 and qualified for the semifinals. On Saturday he will play against Slovakian Lukas Klein for a place in the final.
Vavassori was obviously very satisfied at the end of the match in which he stepped up his game in the second and third sets and played his attacking tennis that paid off: "Today was a great battle. He served very precise in the first set. I struggled to adapt. Then I had to raise my first serve level. In the first set I was at 40 per cent. With such a low percentage it is impossible to compete with an opponent of this level." Vavassori was good not only "to cancel a break point in the second set that could have compromised the match", but also to cancel three break points on 0:40 in the fourth game of the final set. "I stayed aggressive and that paid off. Now I will enjoy the victory, but appetite comes with eating."
Tomorrow in the semifinals he is expected to face Slovakia's Lukas Klein (no previous), who stopped Luca Nardi's run today. The third seed had to surrender in three sets (6:1, 3:6, 6:1) to Klein. In the second set it looked like Nardi could change the inertia of the match, but in the third set Klein went ahead 4:0 to win easily.
Great victory after a great battle instead for Flavio Cobolli. The 20-year-old from Florence in the longest match of the tournament got the better of the experienced Lukas Rosol of the Czech Republic 7:6 (5), 4:6, 6:2 after 2 hours and 19 minutes. "It was a very complicated match, the pace was very high. A very tiring match here on the very fast concrete. I will have to recover some strength for tomorrow. I hope I can continue the tournament in the best possible way." Tomorrow he will face Croatia's Borna Gojo, another player who is at home on these fast indoor courts. Gojo won the last scheduled quarterfinal on the centre court before the big celebration in honour of Andreas Seppi and got the better of Giulio Zeppieri 7-5, 6-2. Fatal for the Roman was a break in the 11th game of the first set. Then Gojo took the lead.
The evening in Val Gardena was dedicated to Andreas Seppi. The organisers held a party in his honour. The 38-year-old from Kaltern, who ended his competitive career at his home challenger this week, was celebrated by his family, friends and fans. "Thank you Andreas for all the special moments," was the motto of the event for the South Tyrolean.