Klizan Opens Home Campaign In Poprad Against Compatriot

Martin Klizan

POPRAD TATRY, June 18, 2017

While the qualifying is underway, the singles main draw for the €64,000 Poprad-Tatry Challenger has been made. Top seed Martin Klizan will take on fellow Slovakian Dominik Sproch in a first round battle of the wild card entries.

The World No. 45 will be the clear favourite in the first meeting with his unranked compatriot, who has yet to win a match on the ATP Challenger Tour. Klizan, who advanced to the stage of the final four here last year, is projected to face sixth seed Roberto Carballés-Baena from Spain in the quarterfinals and could play the tournament’s number three Laslo Djere of Serbia in a semi-final clash.

In the bottom half of the draw, second seed Santiago Giraldo will open his title bid against Riccardo Bellotti of Italy. The World No. 99 from Colombia only appeared at bigger event in recent times and will be back at Challenger level for the first time since Irving in March. Giraldo, who is 1-7 at ATP main draw matches this season, is looking to win his first main draw match since reaching the second round at the ATP 250 Ecuador Open in Quito. In April he led Colombia to a 3-1 win over Chile in the Davis Cup. Giraldo and Bellotti will meet for the first time.

Seventh favourite and champion of the tournament’s inaugural edition in 2015, Adam Pavlasek of the Czech Republic, is in the same section of the draw and could face the Colombian in the quarterfinals. The 22-year-old from Bilovec will play Slovakian wild card entry Peter Vajda, nephew of Marian Vajda, in the first round.

Martin And Ignatik Face Tough Path

Uladzimir Ignatik from Belarus and local favourite Andrej Martin round out the top six seeds. Ignatik is coming off a run to the quarterfinals at the Prostejov Challenger and will start against Lloyd Harris from South Africa. Martin, who made it to the semi-finals in Poprad last year, will play his compatriot and wild card Alex Molcan for the first time. The two could face each other in the stage of the final eight.

Defending champion Horacio Zeballos of Argentina, who captured his 14th ATP Challenger Tour title by defeating Gerald Melzer of Austria in last year’s final, pulled out of the event.