Bertola Bests Mena, Reaches Campinas Challenger Semis

Remy Bertola (photo: João Pires/Fotojump)


The South American clay-court swing on the ATP Challenger Tour continues this week with the 12th edition of the Campeonato Internacional de Tenis. The longest-running ATP Challenger Tour event in Brazil is hosted by the Sociedade Hipica de Campinas.

Remy Bertola of Switzerland has been the man of the tournament so far, experiencing ups and downs this week. The 24-year-old fell in the final round of the qualifying to home favourite Jose Pereira, but entered the main draw as a lucky loser and advanced to the semi-finals of the $53,120 event. Bertola upset World No. 96 and top seed Daniel Altmaier of Germany in the first round followed by a straight-set second-round win over Daniel Dutra da Silva of Brazil.

On Friday, the World No. 450 continued his fine run of form by knocking out eighth-seeded Argentine Facundo Mena 6-3, 3-6, 6-3. Bertola, a two-time champion on the ITF World Tennis Tour, capitalized on seven of his 10 break-point chances to prevail after one hour and 47 minutes.

It’s amazing to be in the semi-finals after losing in qualifying,” the Lugano native native said. “Beating Altmaier in the opening round, then Daniel. I knew it would be very difficult to play in Brazil against a home favourite. Today was another complicated match. I had a break in the past. It is never easy to recover and facing a player who is used to the clay. But it’s a good thing to be through.”

Bertola will next take on British qualifier Jan Choinski, who battled past No. 7 seed Alexandre Muller of France 6-0, 1-6, 6-4 in one hour and 48 minutes.

In the bottom half of the draw, 2019 Campinas Challenger champion Juan Pablo Varillas booked his spot in the stage of the final four with a solid 6-3, 6-2 victory over Argentine qualifier Facundo Juarez. The No. 2 seed from Peru won 60 per cent of the total points played to succeed in one hour and 13 minutes.

“I feel more mature and stronger than I did three years ago, when I won here. A result that no one expected, not even me,” said Varillas. “I like the tournament here, I adapt very well to the conditions and I want to keep going match by match. I feel that my level is improving and tomorrow I am prepared.”

Varillas will next play Luciano Darderi of Italy, who rallied past third-seeded Argentine Facundo Bagnis 0-6, 7-5, 6-2. The encounter lasted two hours and 13 minutes.