Photo: Veljko Martinović

 

Nino Serdarušić remained the only Croatian representative in the individual competition of the 3rd ATP Challenger Split Open after Duje Kekez lost to the favored Aleksandar Vukić, regardless the good resistance in the second set.

 

With a three-hour delay, due to rain, today's program began on the grounds of TC Firule. Duje Kekez, the owner of the third organizer's invitation, went into action on one of the outdoor courts at around 2 p.m. Duje tried, especially in the second set when he was completely equal with his opponent, but the victory still went to the Australian Aleksandar Vukić 6:2, 7:6 (4). In the "tie break", Duje reduced from 0-3 to 3-4 and had two serves with which he could take the lead and proceed the match, but he lost both and Vukić won the match there.

 

- I played worse in the first set, but in the second I picked up the game. I had some chances that I didn’t take advantage of and he deservedly won. I miss matches like this against players from the Top 200 - commented Kekez, for whom this was only the fourth tournament of the year, and at the same time his debut in the main draw of the Challenger.

 

Six years ago, he had the best placement on the ATP list (422nd), and now he is 891. Today, he definitely played much better than his ranking shows, but Vukić was still too much.

- I mostly play on Futures, so I hope that this experience will help me lift the game. I deserve a better placement than the current one - says player from Split.

 

 

ATP CHALLENGER SPLIT OPEN, 1. round
Duje Kekez (Cro, WC) – Aleksandar Vukić (Aus) 2:6, 6:7 (4)