The ATP Challenger Split Open started off the Easter qualifier matches for the main event. Unfortunately, all four Croatian representatives were defeated immediately in the first round. The most experienced among them, No 6 seed Matija Pecotić, was the only one to take the set. Although he won more points than his opponent (88-82), Pecotić lost to Frenchman Matteo Martineau 6: 4, 0: 6, 6: 4.
Nineteen-year-old Božo Barun was defeated against the No 1 seed Blaž Kavčič, even though he had a dream start. Adapting better to the windy conditions, he took a 4-0 lead but did not last long. The Slovenian veteran and former 68th tennis player in the world scored ten games, turned to 6:4, 4:0 and finally won 6:4, 6:3. It is a pity that Barun did not win at least one set, but let's hope that a good performance in his debut at this level will help him in further progress.
Luka Mikrut, three years younger, gained valuable experience and was stopped by the second seed Tung-Lin Wu from Chinese Taipei 6:2, 6:1, and Jerko Brkić also failed to prepare a surprise against the Slovak Lukaš Klein (1:6, 2:6). ). Uladzimir Ignatik, Akira Santillan, Miljan Zekić and Mirza Bašić also qualified for the second round of qualifications, and the pairs are Kavčič - Martineau, Wu - Ignatik, Santillan - Zekić and Klein - Bašić.
Those matches are scheduled for Monday when the main tournament starts. The action on the Central Field of TC Firule will be opened by the qualifiers Kavčič and Martineau at 10:30, and then, not before noon, Mili Poljičak will play against Aleksandar Vukić (ATP 207), an Australian with Montenegrin and Bosnian roots. For 16-year-old Poljičak, who received an invitation from the organizers, this will be the biggest exam so far.
After them, the No 5 seed Danilo Petrović from Serbia and Lukaš Rosol will play on the Central Court, and finally Bernard Tomić against the No 7 seed, Kimmer Coppejans from Belgium. Four more matches of the first round of the main tournament will be played on other pitches.
ATP CHALLENGER SPLIT OPEN, 1. qualifying round
Kavčič (Slo, 1) – Barun (Hrv, WC) 6:4, 6:3
Martineau (Fra) – Pecotić (Hrv, 6) 6:4, 0:6, 6:4
Wu (Tpe, 2) – Mikrut (Hrv, WC) 6:2, 6:1
Ignatik (Bje, 7) – Veldheer (Niz) 6:1, 6:3
Santillan (Aus, 3) – Wang (Fra, PR) 4:6, 6:1, 7:6 (3)
Zekić (Srb) – Fatić (BiH, 8) 4:6, 6:4, 6:4
Klein (Svk, 4) – Brkić (Hrv, WC) 6:1, 6:2
Bašić (BiH, 5) – Doumbia (Fra) 7:6 (2), 6:3