Nino Serdarušić completed the successful day of the Croatian representatives at the ATP Challenger Split Open by placing in the second round defeating the British Jay Clarke.

 

Serdarušić (ATP 304) justified the invitation of the organizers with a victory of 7:6 (1), 6:0 in an hour and 22 minutes of play, and the key moment happened at the end of the first set. Clarke (ATP 205) was the first to break for 6:5 and had a 40-0 serve on the set, but failed to finish the job. Serdarušić returned to 6:6, smoothly took the "tie break", and then even easier the second set.
- After those set-points, the momentum shifted to my side. In the second set, it started to rain and I thought we would be interrupted, but it was good that I brought the match to an end - said a satisfied Serdarušić, for whom this was only the second victory in 2021. Like Duje Ajduković, he overcame Covid-19 and is still looking for the right rhythm. He was eliminated in the first round in Split last autumn, and now Kacper Žuk from Poland is waiting for him on the way to the quarterfinals.

 

In addition to the Portuguese, three other seeds dropped out on Tuesday. In the real thriller Robin Haase, the former 33rd tennis player in the world, knocked out the No 2 seed Marc Polmans from Australia 6:3, 4:6, 7:6 (4), qualifier Blaž Kavčič easily solved the No 4 seed Mohamed Safwat 6:3, 6:3, and the No 8 Filip Horansky from Slovakia said goodbye. He was defeated 3:6, 6:4, 6:4 by Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis, once a very promising tennis player who was already 69th on the world list at the age of 19, but his injuries slowed him down. Today, he is 224th in the standings, and he arrived in Split after qualifying for the Masters 1000 tournament in Miami.

 

In the second round, Kokkinakis will face a difficult exam against Zdenek Kolar, who won the first Challenger of his career in Oeiras, Portugal just two days ago. The Czech also showed great form in Split, where he led 6:2, 5:0 against the qualifier Akira Santillana when he surrendered to him due to nausea. It is worth praising two more qualifiers who won the second round - Mirza Bašić and Uladzimir Ignatik.

 

Although the weather forecast for Split was not favorable - it was cold, windy, at times rainy - there was no major precipitation and all the planned singles matches were played. The doubles matches have been postponed to Wednesday, so tomorrow we will see all four Croatian doubles in action - Krolo / Mikrut, Kekez / Poljičak, Ajduković / Jakić and the Sabanov brothers. We will also find out the first four quarterfinalists of the individual competition.

 

ATP CHALLENGER SPLIT OPEN, 1. round
Serdarušić (Hrv, WC) – Clarke (VB) 7:6 (1), 6:0
Ajduković (Hrv, WC) – Brown (Nje, PR) 2:6, 6:4, 7:5
Žuk (Polj) – P. Sousa (Por, 1) 1:2, surrender Souse
Kolar (Češ, SE) – Santillan (Aus, Q) 6:2, 5:0 surrender Santillana
Haase (Niz) – Polmans (Aus, 2) 6:3, 4:6, 7:6 (4)
Kavčič (Slo, Q) – Safwat (Egi, 4) 6:3, 6:3
Kokkinakis (Aus, PR) – Horansky (Svk, 8) 3:6, 6:4, 6:4
Ignatik (Bje, Q) – Bolt (Aus) 6:4, 6:2
Bašić (BiH, Q) – Ilkel (Tur) 7:6 (4), 6:3

 

Schedule for Wednesday, April 7th
Center court (from 10:30 am)
Petrović (Srb, 5) – Marterer (Nje)
Golubev/Nedovjesov (Kaz, 1) – Krolo/Mikrut (Hrvatska, WC)
Kavčič (Slo, Q) – E. Ymer (Šve)
Petrović/Safwat (Srb/Egi) – I. Sabanov/M. Sabanov (Hrv)
Court 3 (from 10:30 am)
Ignatik (Bje, Q) – Collarini (Arg)
Cerretani/Shamasdin (SAD/Kan) – Galloway/Lawson (SAD, 3)
Ajduković/Jakić (Hrv, WC) – Kolar/Rosol (Češ)
Bolt/Polmans (Aus) – Olivetti/Reid (Fra/Aus, 2)
Court 4 (from 10:30 am)
Vukić (Aus) – Coppejans (Bel, 7)
Raja/Weissborn (Ind/Aut, 4) – Poljičak/Kekez (Hrv, WC)
Doumbia/Reboul (Fra) – Walkow/Zielinski (Polj)
Coppejans/Martos Gornes (Bel/Špa) – Brown/Margaroli (Nje/Švi)