Ramos-Vinolas Reaches Quarterfinals At Maia Open

Albert Ramos-Vinolas (photo: Sebastião Guimarães/FPT)

MAIA, November 30, 2023 (by Dietmar Kaspar)

Second-round action of the Maia Open concluded Thursday. Albert Ramos-Vinolas of Spain advanced to the quarterfinals of the ATP Challenger Tour 100 tournament while Italian veteran Fabio Fognini had to withdraw from his match.

No. 2 seed Ramos-Vinolas faced Joao Sousa from Portugal for the 11th time. After an even start, the momentum changed several times with three breaks in a row, before 36-year-old Ramos-Vinolas closed out the first set. The second set, with the only two breaks at the end, went to the tie-break, in which the World No. 92 eventually secured a 6-4, 7-6 (3) win after more than two hours. The lefty will next oppose Maxime Janvier from France.

“We played a lot of years together in Top 100 and practiced so many times together, so there were no secrets before the match. I have to do a good rest, because the match was really close and me made me run a lot. I do not know much about my next opponent, so I will have to ask other colleagues. The conditions here indoor are completely different, it is more tricky and slippery,” Ramos-Vinolas said in the press conference.

Asked about the period of 13 years in a row, finishing in Top 100, he added: “To be honest, I am really proud of this. I left the Top 100 in all this years only once for some weeks. But this year it was very difficult for me, because I didn’t find my level during the European clay-swing, which is normally very important for me to get the most of my points, so I had to play a lot of Challengers. In the last period of the season, I felt better and mentally stronger, so I reached my goal to finish Top 100 again.”

Borges continues home campaign

Maia-born Nuno Borges is still in contention to win his home-tournament. The top seed defeated Enrico Dalla Valle from Italy. The former college player from the Mississippi State University won 82 per cent of his first-service points and 75 per cent on second serve without facing a break-point to prevail 6-2, 6-0 in 71 minutes. The 26-year-old will next take on Italian No. 6 seed Andrea Vavassori.

“I felt a lot better today and my opponent didn’t cause me much trouble. I served pretty well and found solutions for the problems much easier. Patience is so important for competing on clay. It can be so frustrating. You do not have much winners and have to play a couple of shots more to get the point,” Borges said.

Matusevich stops Rocha

Anton Matusevich continues his great run of form this week in Northern Portugal. The qualifier faced local player Henrique Rocha in the first match on Center Court. The 22-year-old won 82 per cent of his first-service points and earned one break more to advance 7-6 (2), 6-4 against Porto-born Rocha in 94 minutes. The World No. 494 will next challenge Matteo Martineau from France, who benefited from the withdrawal of Italian No. 3 seed Fabio Fognini due to a calf injury.

“It’s the second time for me to reach a quarter-final on Challenger-level, but for sure this is the biggest win of my career. My first time was on grass, but the win in the first two rounds here were much more difficult. My opponent is higher ranked, so the pressure was on him. But the crowd was cheering for him really crazy, so I am extremely happy that I won it,” the Matusevich told Tennis TourTalk afterwards.


Second Round – Singles

Albert Ramos-Vinolas (ESP) – Joao Sousa (POR) 6-4, 7-6 (3)

Nuno Borges (POR) – Enrico Dalla Valle (ITA) 6-2, 6-0

Anton Matusevich (GBR) – Henrique Rocha (POR) 7-6 (2), 6-4

Eilas Ymer (SWE) – Denis Yevseyev (KAZ) 6-4, 6-7 (7), 6-3

Matteo Martineau (FRA) – Fabio Fognini (ITA) w.o.