Griekspoor Marches On At Tenerife Challenger

Tallon Griekspoor (photo: Florian Heer)

TENERIFE, November 3, 2021

Tallon Griekspoor remains the man to beat on the Challenger tour. The top seed of the Tenerife Challenger extended his winning streak to 17 matches after losing to Novak Djokovic in the second round of the US Open. Griekspoor reached the quarterfinals of the €44,820 hard-court event in the Canary Islands following a 6-4, 6-4 win over Russian qualifier Yan Bondarevskiy on Wednesday afternoon at the Abama Tennis Academy in Guía de Isora.

The World No. 88, who arrived in Tenerife winning three consecutive ATP Challenger titles, didn’t show his best performance but broke his opponent’s serve four times to secure victory in one hour and 35 minutes.

“It’s a good feeling to keep winning those matches and I hope to keep this streak alive as long as possible,” Griekspoor told Tennis TourTalk. “I have been playing very consistent every week. I am feeling good, especially on the clay. I was fit, healthy, serving well, aggressive and now I am trying to do the same on the hard court. Let’s see how far I can go this week.”

The 25-year-old Dutchman has captured eight ATP Challenger career titles, six of them this year.

“I don’t really have a favourite surface, even though I won all my Challengers on clay but when I look at my best wins, they all came on hard court. I chose to play on clay more this year, didn’t play too much on hard court but I like it, especially outdoors. I am trying to improve and let’s see,” said Griekspoor, who will next be challenged by No. 6 seed Altug Celikbilek. The World No. 160 rallied past Chun-Hsin Tseng of Chinese Taipei 5-7, 6-3, 7-6(3) after nearly three hours of play.

Lopez, Verdasco advance

Later in the day, the Spanish veterans stepped into Centre-Court action. Feliciano Lopez won the conclusion of his first-round match against Czech youngster Dalibor Srvcina 6-4, 1-6, 6-4. The encounter was suspended in the third set last evening due to darkness and resumed today.

Lopez overcame a couple of ups and downs throughout the encounter. The No. 2 seed fired 16 aces but also produced five doubles faults. The 40-year-old Toledo native won four points less than his opponent but gained the decisive break in the 10th game of the third set to prevail after one hour and 55 minutes.

“It was a difficult match. For me it is not easy to play the young guys, as I don’t know how they play,” Lopez told Tennis TourTalk. “It is a handicap playing someone you don’t know but you need to find a way. I haven’t played much this year and I didn’t feel confident on court today. My serve didn’t really work but I made it and I am happy to be in the second round, having another match. 

“My main goal is to be in the main draw of the Australian Open. I am very close. I just need a couple of more points. To play another Slam would be something special for me. If I have another chance to do so, I will take it. That’s why I am playing Challengers to make a few points.”

Fernando Verdasco booked his spot in the quarterfinal following a comfortable 6-2, 6-2 win over Lorenzo Giustino of Italy. The 37-year-old from Madrid didn’t face a break point and capitalized on four of his own nine break-point chances to advance after 63 minutes.

Up next for Verdasco will be Portuguese Nuno Bourges, who edged out No. 7 seed Elias Ymer from Sweden 7-5, 6-4 in one hour and 29 minutes.