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Friday, August 16, 2013

Challenger Cordenons, Thursday highlights

R1: (1) Paolo Lorenzi def (WC) Gianluigi Quinzi 6-1 6-2

There was a lot of interest around this match, as Quinzi, after his win of the junior title of Wimbledon, is given as the biggest rising start of the Italian movement and this was a great chance for him to get his first steps in the pro-tour. Sadly he was drawn against top seed, defending champion and world top 70 Paolo Lorenzi, who simply showed to be too good for the talented youngster.
Quinzi didn't have much to hurt the experienced Italian, because his game lacks of killing accelerations and Lorenzi knew how to slow down the path of the rallies with his tricky slices. What's more Gianluigi's serve is not as powerful and accurate as it's needed to bother someone like Lorenzi and he only could hold serve once in the whole match, at the start of the second set, when he got a 2-0 lead, that was the only moment in which he looked quite competitive out there.

R2: Norbert Gombos def. (WC) Stefano Napolitano 6-1 6-0

Looking at the final score it's hard to believe that Gombos expected this match to be a tough battle (for more about this and to get to know him have a look at his interview posted two days ago ), but contrary to what the result may suggest, Napolitano didn't even play half bad, it was Norbert being just too good, in every department of the game. Even the Italian coach, sitting in the stands at one

point said to other people watching, that Stefano wasn't playing badly at all, but Gombos was superb out there. The Slovak will face the 3rd seed, Carreno Busta for a place in the Semifinals.

R2: (5) Filippo Volandri def Marco Cecchinato 7-6 (2) 6-1

The rematch of the actually surprising clash in San Marino saw the revenge from Volandri, who found a better solidity and consistence, especially behind his serve, closing the match without being broken. The first set featured some outstanding quality, with both the players forcing themselves into long rallies of one-handed backhands battles, with accelerations and drops and great quality volleys. The real turnaround happened during the tie-break, when San Marino's winner suddenly lost his cool and started to moan and complain about the calls, ending up caught in a cloud of negativity that got him a warning and most of all the loss of the set. After that, he never really got back mentally and Volandri had the chance to dictate most of the points and close easily.

R2: (Q) Janez Semrajc def. Thomas Schoorel 4-6 7-6 (10) 6-2

The Slovenian qualifier never finishes to surprise in this tournament, edging the talented and powerful Schoorel in a superb match, where both guys played some outstanding tennis for two sets and then in the decider Semrajc found the right attitude to close, while Schoorel suffered mentally from the Match Point wasted in the second set tie-break. The first set was characterized by easy holds for both, only Janez had a small drop in one game, which eventually led to a deciding break.

In the second it was the service to rule the path of the match, until by the end Thomas let the Slovene have some chances, but he could save them to reach the tiebreak. There it was simply epic, both guys fought for every ball with everything the had, showing great skills and attitude, though it seemed that Semrajc had found the right key when he got 6-3 up: two good serves from Schoorel and a lob out of millimeters and it was back to 6-all. Semrajc had a few more chance to close, but each time Schoorel handled the pressure and saved those points, but on the other hand Janez could save a Match Point with a terrific forehand winner. A massive backhand finally handed him the tiebreak and the set, but most of all, the momentum flew by then to his side and Schoorel looked to tired both physically and mentally to fight to have it back. Linked here you can find Semrajc words of joy after his huge win.

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