OPATIJA, March 24, 2016
An all-Croatian-affair headlined Thursday’s quarterfinals action at the $10,000 ITF Future Istarska Rivijera in Opatija.
Wild card Nino Serdarusic fought back against qualifier Matej Sabanov, winning 4-6, 6-2, 6-4. The 19-year-old hit five aces, converted five of his 10 break point chances and won 102 of the total 193 points to seal victory in two hours and 36 minutes.
Serdarusic advanced to his first semi-final of the season, meeting Pula champion Pedro Martínez Portero, who continues his successful run in Istria, winning his eighth consecutive match on the Croatian peninsula, 4-6, 7-6, 6-3 against Italian qualifier Pietro Licciardi. The Spanish teenager, who lifted his maiden trophy on the ITF Pro Circuit last Sunday, won a maximum of five games in a row to advance to the semi-finals in two hours and 55 minutes.
Local Kristijan Mesaros battled through the qualifying and knocked off second seed Kamil Majchrzak from Poland 6-1, 7-6. The 27-year-old Croat won 70% of his first serves as well as 55% of his second to finish the encounter after one hour and 42 minutes.
Mesaros will take on seventh seed Dragos Dima, who emerged victorious from the all-Romanian-encounter with Vasile Antonescu 6-4, 6-2. The 23-year-old won 62% of his first service points and capitalized on six of his eight break point opportunities to prevail in one hour and 40 minutes.