Carballes Baena: “I’m Happy To Be Back In Murcia!”

Roberto Carballes Baena (photo: Andrés Molina/RMCT 1919)

MURCIA/STARNBERG, September 29, 2021

After a year hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic, the ATP Challenger Tour has returned to Murcia for the second edition of the Challenger Costa Cálida Región de Murcia, being held at the Real Murcia Club de Tenis 1919.

Roberto Carballes Baena, the tournament’s defending champion, is also back in south-eastern Spain. The current World No. 88 fought past Mikael Ymer in the 2019 singles final in three sets to lift his sixth Challenger trophy.

This week, Carballes Baena, top seed of the €44,820 clay-court event, is bidding for his ninth career title. “I am happy to be back in Murcia,” Carballes said. “I have fond memories of the last tournament and the club.”

The 28-year-old Tenerife native began this year’s Murcia campaign with a comfortable 6-3, 6-2 first-round win over Spanish wild card entry Pablo Llamas Ruiz on Tuesday. “My first match went well. I felt very comfortable with my serve and in general on the court,” said Carballes, who will next face US-American qualifier Alexander Rybakov.

“My goal is to maintain the level and trying to play as I do during practice. I want to improve my serve and be a little more aggressive. However, all rivals are very dangerous, it does not matter playing against someone who is ranked between World No. 150 or 200. The level is similar and you have to maintain the tension to win.”