RENNES/STARNBERG, September 13, 2022
The ATP Challenger Tour is back in France for the 16th edition of the Open Blot Rennes held at Le Liberté. Main draw action of the €67,960 indoor hard-court tournament kicked off Monday with two local wild card entries booking their spots in the second round.
World No. 501 Clement Chidekh battled past Gabriel Decamps of Brazil 6-2, 5-7, 6-1. The 21-year-old from Arles withstood seven aces and broke his rival’s serve seven times to secure victory in two hours and 14 minutes.
“It was hard. I think we both suffered a little physically at the end. I would have liked to have won in two sets and leave a little less energy, but I have a few days of recovery now. But honestly, giving energy on a court like that, having fun and playing that way, I would do it every day. I don’t mind going three sets when I play in Rennes,” said Chidekh, a two-time winner on the ITF World Tennis Tour.
“I enjoyed it, the spectators gave me a lot of energy. With the people pushing me like that, I wanted to win this match. Winning the last point through a Hawk-Eye Challenge was a great way to finish. It brings confidence to have this technology there. I think that there are not too many Challengers using it.”
Chidekh will next take on either No. 8 seed Gijs Brouwers from the Netherlands or German qualifier Max Hans Rehberg.
Debru rallies past Rosenkranz
Meanwhile, Gabriel Debru overcame a one-set deficit to outlast Mats Rosenkranz from Germany 4-6, 6-3, 6-4. The 16-year-old Grenoble native sent down seven aces and won 86 per cent of his first-service points to prevail after one hour and 47 minutes.
“I am very happy to have played in a front of packed stands with people who supported me a lot,” said Debru. “I played against an opponent, who served very well. It was very tough to come back. I was able to get out of it in the second and third sets. I am very happy. It was a good fight. I will rest and stay focused for the next round.”
The World No. 589, champion of the 2022 French Open Boys’ singles title, will next face the winner of the encounter between top seed Hugo Gaston of France or Belgian qualifier Yannick Mertens.
First-round matches continue on Tuesday with the highly-awaited match-up between Dominic Thiem of Austria and French veteran Gilles Simon. The match will start not before 7 p.m. local time.
Welcome to Rennes, @domithiem! 👋
— ATP Challenger Tour (@ATPChallenger) September 12, 2022