Monteiro Advances At Open Comunidad De Madrid

Thiago Monteiro (photo: Florian Heer)

MADRID, April 12, 2022

The top two seeds of the I Open Comunidad de Madrid began their title bid at the Club de Campo Villa de Madrid on a cloudy Tuesday afternoon. After a short delay due to rain overnight in Spain’s capital city, No. 2 seed Thiago Monteiro opened the action on Pista 2 with a 7-6(1), 6-2 first-round win over Portuguese qualifier Pedro Sousa.

The World No. 114 from Brazil saved all three break points he faced and converted two of his own break-point chances to advance after one hour and 38 minutes.

“It was a tricky match, as Pedro is a very good player. I was focused on what I have to do, trying to be aggressive and to do my best in every point. The first set was pretty tough and I managed to win. Then I got more confidence and I was feeling better on the court. Just happy with this win,” Monteiro told Tennis TourTalk.

“It’s been a good season for me so far. Of course, it could have been better but I had good wins on hard court at the beginning of the year. I also enjoyed a good swing in South America. I am just trying to improve every week. The last few weeks weren’t the best but I am feeling good. My ranking is okay. I just need to be more consistent and do well every time I play.”

The 27-year-old lefty from Fortaleza, who is accompanied and coached in Madrid by former Spanish Top-50 player Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo, will next take on Hungarian Zsombor Piros.

Carballes Baena prevails

Later in the day, the top seed of the €45,730 ATP Challenger clay-court event stepped into action, as Roberto Carballes Baena defeated Dmitry Popko from Kazakhstan 7-6(4), 6-1 on Pista Central. The World No. 78 from Spain overcame a slow start, broke his rival five times and won 57 per cent of the total points played to prevail after one hour and 43 minutes.

Carballes Baena, who is seeking his ninth Challenger career crown and first of the season, will next face the winner of the encounter between Gian Marco Moroni of Italy and Russian Pavel Kotov.

Ofner returns to the court

Elsewhere, Sebastian Ofner has recorded his first match win since November last year. The 25-year-old Austrian, who was sidelined from the courts for seven months due to a foot injury, needed to undergo surgery and dropped in the ATP Rankings to World No. 226, showed a solid performance against Israeli qualifier Yshai Oliel. Ofner prevailed 6-4, 6-4 in one hour and 15 minutes.

“The serve is very important here. Conditions are fast. That’s what I like and I served really well today. I was solid from the baseline, too,” said Ofner, who still needed to take some painkillers during the competition. “It was a difficult opponent, playing a qualifier in the first round is never easy. So, I am very happy with the win.”

Up next for Ofner will be No. 5 seed Mats Moraing from Germany.

Lopez, Elias withdraw

In the meantime, No. 3 seed Feliciano Lopez was forced to withdraw from his home tournament due to a left elbow injury. The 40-year-old Toledo native could be seen on the practice court but wasn’t able to oppose Italian qualifier Raul Brancaccio, who now awaits the winner of the match between his compatriot Alessandro Giannessi and Argentine Marco Trungelliti.

Frenchman Manuel Guinard received a walkover from last week’s Oeiras Open champion Gastao Elias. The 30-year-old Portuguese pulled out of the tournament with a right shoulder injury. Guinard will play hometown hero Fernando Verdasco in the second round.