The ATP Challenger Split Open enters the finals. On Friday, we got the semifinalists in the individual competition and the finalists in the doubles tournament. Although only two matches out of a total of six were resolved in the final set, the excitement was not lacking.

 

The Slovenian final is possible at Firule on Sunday because two representatives of that country are on opposite sides of the draw in the semifinals. They're even called the same, Blaž. One is Rola, the other is Kavčič.

The No 6 seed, Rola, stopped a nice series of Mirza Bašić 6:2, 6:4. He opened the match with the result of 5:0, but the tennis player from Sarajevo did not fall without a fight. Rola had to work hard in the second, he saved four "break" points before taking the service away from his opponent at 5:4. He was also a bit lucky because the point was repeated on the "break" point at 4:4; the collector dropped the ball in the middle of the point so the main judge repeated the serve.

 

 

- Yes, I was lucky in that situation, so I got the first serve, and then a "nets" kissed me in the last game. I am satisfied with how I played - said Rola, who remained the only seed in the tournament, but he does not think that this automatically makes him the main favourite to win the title.

- The competition on the Challengers is very strong and everyone can beat everyone. The role of the seed does not mean much - points out Rola, who has not been in Dalmatia for a long time.

- Uh, I was in Solin on Futures when I was 17-18 years old… It's nice here in Split, the courts are by the sea. It's a shame we can't move too much because of the Coronavirus.

 

Rola (ATP 165) will face his left-handed colleague, Andrea Collarini (ATP 213), in the semifinals, whom he defeated in both previous matches. The Argentine had a solution for everything that the No 5 seed, Danilo Petrović from Serbia, imagined, defeating him 6:2, 6:3 and leaving him only one "break" point in the entire match (which he saved). Collarini has won only one Challenger in his career, while the player from Ptuj has four titles and eight defeats in the finals.

 

 

Kacper Žuk and Blaž Kavčič will meet in the second semifinal. The Pole, after a close first set in which he annulled all four "break" points and then a set-point in a "tie break", broke the resistance of Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis (7: 6 (6), 6: 3), while Kavčič already for the third time in Split turned the set around. He did it first against Martineau in the final round of qualifications, then against Ymer in the second round where he saved two match points and now in the quarterfinals against Australian Aleksandar Vukić (4: 6, 6: 2, 6: 2). It was another marathon of a Slovenian veteran. In total, he spent almost 11 hours on the field in five matches in Split! Of course, he is tired, but recovery goes easier with victories.

- It was a great match, with a lot of nice points. I had a little crisis due to fatigue so I'm not very happy that I had to play the third set again, but it's positive that I'm physically well prepared. I hope to win in the semifinals as well because then I won't have to play in the qualifications for the new Split tournament on Sunday - the 34-year-old Kavčič (ATP 238) laughed, but it won't be easy for him in the semifinals.

 

His opponent is 12 years younger Žuk (ATP 221) who is playing better and better. He was recently in the first Challenger final in Russia, and now he is close to the final match in Split. He used the surrender of Pedro Sousa in the first round, defeated Serdarušić and Kokkinakis without losing a set and will certainly be fresher than Kavčič. But the experience is on the Slovenian side. It will be interesting.

 

The semifinals start on Saturday at 11 am with the match Collarini - Rola, then Žuk - Kavčič, and then the doubles final will be played, in which the No 1 seeds Andrej Golubev / Aleksandr Nedovjesov and Szymon Walkow / Jan Zielinski will meet. The Kazakhs were better than the Czech combination Kolar / Rosol 6:2, 2:6, 10-6, while the Poles stopped the other seeds, Olivetti and Reid, twice with 6:4.

 

 

ATP Challenger Split Open, Quarterfinals
Collarini (Arg) – Petrović (Srb, 5) 6:2, 6:3
Rola (Slo, 6) – Bašić (BiH, Q) 6:2, 6:4
Žuk (Polj) – Kokkinakis (Aus, PR) 7:6 (6), 6:3
Kavčič (Slo, Q) – Vukić (Aus) 4:6, 6:2, 6:2
Doubles semifinals
Golubev/Nedovjesov (Kaz, 1) – Kolar/Rosol 6:2, 2:6, 10-6
Walkow/Zielinski (Polj) – Olivetti/Reid (Fra/Aus, 2) 6:4, 6:4

 

 

Schedule for Saturday, April 10th
Center Court (from 11 am)
Collarini (Arg) – Rola (Slo, 6)
Žuk (Polj) – Kavčič (Slo, Q)
Ne prije 14 sati: Golubev/Nedovjesov (Kaz, 1) – Walkow/Zielinski (Polj)