SAO PAULO/STARNBERG, December 4, 2021
Felipe Meligeni Rodrigues Alves kept the home flag flying at the Dove Men & Care Challenger Sao Paulo, as the 23-year-old Brazilian earned a spot a semi-finals of the $52,080 ATP Challenger clay-court tournament following a hard-fought 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 win over Andrea Collarini of Argentina on Friday.
Meligeni Rodrigues Alves broke serve four times and outpointed his rival 89-81 after two hours and six minutes.
“Playing Collarini is complicated, a lefty is always more difficult,” Meligeni Rodrigues Alves said. “In the first set I played with a lot of intensity and was positive at all times. I couldn’t keep up the level in the second set, messed up more than I should have and he took advantage of that. In the third set I was strong all the time, fighting every game, trying to make my game. Everything went well and I’m very happy with the victory.”
The World No. 209 from Campinas will next play Italian teenager Luciano Darderi. The 19-year-old qualifier continued his fine run of form at the Clube Hipico De Santo Amaro this week with a solid 6-3, 6-4 win over Facundo Diaz Acosta from Argentina. Following his maiden triumph in doubles alongside Argentine Juan Buatista Torres in Buenos Aires two months ago, Darderi has booked his first semi-final spot at Challenger level in singles.
“Darderi is a young guy who, like me, comes with a great desire to play. It will definitely be another tough match,” Meligeni said of his upcoming opponent.
In the bottom half of the draw, Nicolas Jarry knocked off No. 2 seed Hugo Dellien of Bolivia 7-6(3), 7-6(5) to reach the stage of the final four. The fifth seed from Chile struck 14 aces and won 75 per cent of his first-service points to secure victory in two hours and six minutes.
Jarry will next face Juan Pablo Ficovich of Argentina, who beat Brazilian wild card entry Gustavo Heide 6-3, 6-0. The encounter lasted 68 minutes.
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