Van Rijthoven Reaches First Challenger Final At El Espinar

Tim van Rijthoven (photo: Tenis El Espinar)


Benjamin Bonzi of France and Dutch Tim van Rijthoven will compete in Sunday’s singles final of the 30th edition of the Open Castilla y Leon Villa de El Espinar.

Bonzi fought past US-American qualifier Nicolas Moreno de Alboran 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 on a rain-delayed Saturday afternoon in the province of Segovia, Spain. The No. 2 seed of the €66,640 ATP Challenger hard-court event converted three of his five break-point chances to seal victory in one hour and 50 minutes.

“Conditions were difficult, as there was a lot of wind,” Bonzi said. “He played very good. It was a big fight and I am happy to get the win.”

Later in the day, World No. 290 van Rijthoven defeated Frenchman Hugo Grenier 7-6(2), 6-2. The 24-year-old fired 12 aces and won 80 per cent of his first-service points to advance to his first championship match on the ATP Challenger Tour after one hour and 40 minutes.

Bonzi, ranked World No. 111, will play for his third ATP Challenger career title following his triumphs in Potchefstroom, South Africa and Ostrava, Czech Republic earlier this season. Van Rijthoven, a winner of eight ITF Pro Circuit titles, is seeking his maiden Challenger trophy. Bonzi and van Rijthoven will meet for the first time.

Galloway and Lawson lift doubles trophies

In other action, Robert Galloway and Alex Lawson took the doubles title. The top seeds from the United States edged past US-American JC Aragone and Nicolas Barrientos of Colombia 7-6(8), 6-4. The encounter lasted one hour and 15 minutes.

By winning their second team title after Cleveland in late March this year, Galloway and Lawson split €3,950 in prize money and earned 90 ATP Doubles Ranking points.