Nadal congratulates Copa Sevilla Challenger on 25th anniversary – main draw starts on Monday

David Vega Hernandez qualified for the main draw (photo: Copa Sevilla)

SEVILLE, September 6, 2015

The four top-seeds of the qualifying at the ATP Challenger Copa Sevilla made it into the main draw, winning their matches in the final round on Sunday.

First favourite Ivan Gakhov from Russia defeated 20-year-old Spaniard Eduard Esteve Lobato 6-4, 7-6 in one hour and 44 minutes facing Lamine Ouahab in the main draw.

The other local players were more successful. Second seed David Vega Hernandez emerged victorious from the all-Spanish-affair, winning 6-0, 6-4 against Samuel Ribeiro Navarrete in one hour and 17 minutes. Vega Hernandez will play with wild card Agustin Boje-Ordonez another fellow countryman in the main draw.

Juan Lizariturry (photo: Copa Sevilla)

Juan Lizariturry (photo: Copa Sevilla)

Third seed Basque Juan Lizariturry was the more solid player in his match against Ilija Vucic from Serbia, winning 6-4, 6-2 in one hour and three minutes. Lizariturry will face Ruben Ramirez-Hidalgo in the main draw.

Fourth qualifier is the fourth favourite Matwe Middelkoop, who knocked out his fellow countryman Wesley Koolhof through a 6-1, 7-6 victory after one hour and 13 minutes taking on Pedja Krstin next.

Main draw of the event’s 25th edition will start on Monday and the organizers received special congratulations on the anniversary through a message from Rafael Nadal. The former world number one sent a video from New York on Friday in which he mentioned the tournament as “very special” for him as well as the event, where he gained his first ATP ranking points.

Nadal, who was granted a wild card in 2001 at the age of 15, showed the organizers at the Real Club de Tenis Betis his “appreciation for the invitation”. Back then, Nadal claimed his first five points when he had won in the opening round against Israel Martos 6-4, 6-4 before he lost to Stefano Galvani in the next match.

Rafael Nadal at Real Club de Tenis Betis in 2001 (photo: Pepo Herrera)

Rafael Nadal at Real Club de Tenis Betis in 2001 (photo: Pepo Herrera)

In Seville’s 2001 edition more future champions took part, as David Ferrer, Fernando Verdasco and Feliciano López could all be found in the main draw.

In his message, Nadal wished the Copa Sevilla “again a great success, as it has always been”.

Here you can watch the original message:

Mensaje de Rafa NadalRafa Nadal felicita a la #CopaSevilla, un torneo “muy especial” para él, por sus 25 años como ATP Challenger a través de un vídeo que ha grabado desde el US Open. ¡Muchísimas gracias!

Posted by Real Club de Tenis Betis on Freitag, 4. September 2015