ORTISEI/STARNBERG, October 23, 2023
The 14th edition of the Sparkasse Challenger Val Gardena Südtirol officially kicked off on Monday evening with three matches of the main draw. On the first day, three seeded players were in action.
Francesco Maestrelli was one of the top contenders for the title at the ATP Challenger Tour 50 event in Ortisei, but the fourth-seeded Italian squandered two match points in the evening match against Swiss Antoine Bellier at 6-5 in the second set during his opponent’s serve and eventually lost 4-6, 7-6(4), 6-1. Maestrelli had reached the semi-finals at the Szczecin Open in Poland in mid-September but had lost in the first round in four consecutive tournaments since then, including in Sibiu, Braga, Alicante, and last week in Olbia.
The 20-year-old from Pisa was on a winning way today, not allowing any break points in the first two sets. However, Maestrelli dropped his serve twice in the third set. Bellier secured victory in one hour and 49 minutes and will face a qualifier in the second round, either Ryan Nijboer from the Netherland or Daniil Glinka of Estonia.
Onclin eliminated, Lajal advances
The number two seed has also bid farewell to Gröden. Belgian Gauthier Onclin lost to Poland’s Maks Kasnikowski 6-1, 6-4. Kasnikowski saved the only break point in the third game of the first set and lost only five points on his serve in the second set. No. 5 seed Mark Lajal from Estonia put on a strong performance, defeating Kacper Zuk from Poland 6-3, 6-4 in just 86 minutes.
Mark Lajal on FIRE 🔥
— ATP Challenger Tour (@ATPChallenger) October 23, 2023