Martinez Remains Solid, Reaches Tenerife Challenger Semis

Pedro Martinez (photo: Florian Heer)

GUIA DE ISORA/TENERIFE, January 19, 2024

Pedro Martinez of Spain has booked his spot in the semi-finals of the Tenerife Challenger 1. The No. 2 seed of the ATP Challenger Tour 100 hard-court tournament delighted his home crowd at the Abama Tennis Academy in Guia de Isora by beating his compatriot and No. 6 seed Pablo Llamas Ruiz 6-4, 6-2.

Martinez, 26, displayed a fine selection of shots, was quick on his feet and consequently in control of the match. The World No. 109 didn’t face a break point and converted three of his own six break-point chances to advance in one hour and 22 minutes.


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“I played a good match and was always up in the score that helped me to stay calm. I am very happy with my performance,” Martinez told Tennis TourTalk afterwards. “We played in a Challenger last year and I beat him in straight sets but he has started to improve his level since then. So, I knew that it was going to be different match today.”

Martinez closed last season with a triumph at the Maspalomas Challenger in Gran Canaria and has now returned to the Canary Islands after spending the off season at home in Andorra. “I was one month with my kid and had some important time with my family. Now I am super happy to be back. I always feel like being at home. My parents live in Gran Canaria, so I feel very comfortable here. I came to Tenerife for the first time when I was young, enjoying a family trip. My parents run a company on the Canary Islands, which is specialized in the collection and processing of dry mixed recyclables. They do a good job. It’s important to take care of the environment on the islands. They try to keep it as clean as possible here.

“My mum is already here and my dad will join us tomorrow. It’s always a good feeling having your family close to you. I like to go to good restaurants, enjoying my free time at the coastal parts of the island.”

Martinez actually kicked off the new year in the qualifying of the Australian Open but lost in the first round to Italian Francesco Passaro. “I had the ambition to pass the qualifying in Melbourne but unfortunately I didn’t have a good match. My opponent played at a really good level. Of course, I was disappointed but after a short stay at home I tried to focus on the tournament here in Tenerife.”

With top seed Fabio Fognini falling in Thursday’s second round, does Martinez consider himself now as the favourite for winning the title? “There are still many good players in the tournament. I just focus on my next match, expecting another tough one,” he responded.

Martinez will next play Spanish qualifier Javier Barranco Cosano, who eased past Kazakh veteran Mikhail Kukushkin 6-1, 6-1 in only 61 minutes.

Nakashima outlasts Maestrelli

In the top half of the draw, Brandon Nakashima fought past Italian Francesco Maestrelli 6-4, 7-6(5). The 22-year-old US-American withstood seven aces and broke his rival’s serve two times to secure victory in two hours and 12 minutes.


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“It was a pretty tough match today, going back and forth with a lot of long, physical rallies. So I am really happy to get the win and being able to get some confidence from this,” Nakashima told Tennis TourTalk. “We both played at a really high level. Serving well and being aggressive on the first ball always helps me to play my best tennis. I am quite happy with my performance today.”

Up next for Nakashima will be Denis Yevseyev, who emerged victorious from the battle of the qualifiers with Samuel Vincent Ruggeri of Italy, winning 6-3, 6-4. The encounter lasted one hour and 25 minutes.


Quarterfinals – Singles

Denis Yevseyev (Q) def. Samuel Vincent Ruggeri (Q) 6-3 6-4Brandon Nakashima (4) def. Francesco Maestrelli 6-4 7-6(5)
Javier Barranco Cosano (Q) def. Mikhail Kukushkin 6-1 6-1
Pedro Martinez (2) a Pablo Llamas Ruiz (6) 6-4 6-2