Youzhny makes winning return to the ATP Challenger Tour

Mikhail Youzhny is playing his first ATP Challenger event in four years

ECKENTAL, November 4, 2015

The first round concluded and the second round kicked off on Wednesday at the € 35,000 ATP Challenger Bauer Watertechnology Cup in Eckental.

Federico Gaio caused the upset of the day, knocking out the tournament’s top-seed Ricardas Berankis. The world number 237 from Italy rallied back from a set down, winning 85% of his first service points to seal a 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 victory in one hour and 58 minutes.

Federico Gaio (photo: ATP Challenger Eckental)

Federico Gaio (photo: ATP Challenger Eckental)

Gaio will face another big name next, taking on Mikhail Youzhny. The former world number eight from Russia, who dropped in rankings to 153rd position, is playing his first ATP Challenger event since reaching the quarterfinals in Prostejov in 2011. Youzhny defeated Marco Chiudinelli, winning 6-2, 6-4 in one hour and 12 minutes.

Last year’s semi-finalist Mirza Basic knocked off eighth seed Farrukh Dustov through a 6-1, 7-6 win. The 24-year-old from Bosnia-Herzegovina saved all of the four match points he faced and converted three of his own to prevail in one hour and 33 minutes. Basic will face fellow countryman Aldin Setkic in the second round.

Lucky loser Jan Hernych overcame Philipp Petzschner, winning 6-7, 6-2, 6-3. The 36-year-old Czech only won 59% of his first service points, but 64% of his second. Hernych converted seven of his 18 break point chances to seal victory in two hours and 13 minutes setting a second round meeting with seventh seeded Italian Luca Vanni.

Question of the Day for Philipp Petzschner, if he can imagine playing mixed doubles:

“I can imagine playing mixed doubles. I think that I would take a German girl for teaming up. I think it would be Andrea Petkovic, as you can have a lot of fun with her, on and off the court as well,” Petzschner said and added with a smile. “I do not think that it will be my decision then, if I play forehand or backhand. Women take the reins pretty quickly and just put me on the side of the court, which she doesn’t like.”

The winning streak of the qualifiers continued in the second round, as Ante Pavic as well as Marton Fucsovics advanced to the quarterfinals. The 26-year-old Croat cruised past third seed Marsel Ilhan, winning 6-3, 6-4 in only 55 minutes and the world number 247 from Hungary beat the tournament’s number six Lukas Lacko, going the distance 6-1, 5-7, 7-6 in two hours and 16 minutes.

In the final two second round matches of the day, two Germans prevailed. Fifth seed Dustin Brown defeated Belgian qualifier Niels Desein 7-6, 6-2 in 63 minutes and the tournament’s number four Benjamin Becker downed Russian Aslan Karatsev, winning 6-7, 7-5, 6-4 in two hours and 40 minutes. Both players will now clash in the quarterfinals on Friday.