By Florian Heer
(August 31, 2013) Another sunny day in Como greeted the players for the singles semi-finals and the doubles final on Saturday. Top-seed Pablo Carreño-Busta and Marco Crugnola were the first players to step into action on centre court. The Spaniard, who had some problems in his quarterfinal match against Gianluca Naso, was in total control today. Two breaks in the first set and only one service loss in the second led to a comfortable victory after seventy minutes winning 6-3, 6-1. “I think that I was very concentrated and focused during the match today. My service also improved compared to yesterday and in the important moments I just played better than on Friday,” Carreño analyzed. Two years ago the 22-year-old won the tournament in Como and therefore understandably enjoys the location. “I played nine matches here and I won all of them. For me, this seems to be a good city for playing tennis,” Carreño laughed. “I also had some time to look around the lake and I took the funicular up the hill to get a panoramic view over the area. Unfortunately I haven’t done a boat trip yet but maybe I’ll do it tomorrow if I win the final,” the Spaniard said.
Carreño’s opponent in the tournament’s last match will be Dominic Thiem. The only 19-year-old Austrian defeated Italian qualifier Lorenzo Giustino in straight sets. Thiem won an even first frame in the twelfth game and took command in the second when Giustino started to hit unforced errors. After one hour and twenty-seven minutes Thiem served the match out winning 7-5, 6-2 to reach his first ever ATP Challenger final. “It was my first Challenger semi-final and I was a bit nervous at the beginning,” the Austrian teenager told us. “He (Giustino) also played very well today but it was very important to gain the break in the ninth game of the first set, which probably was the key to success today. Reaching the quarterfinal in Kitzbühel, where I could defeat top players like Jürgen Melzer gave me a lot of confidence. Since then I know that on Challenger lever the players are not much better and I’m able to beat them,” Thiem reflected his successful last couple of weeks on the ATP Tour. “I played Pablo last year in Morocco in a final on Future level. I think that I was one of the last players who beat him,” the Austrian laughed. “Pablo has a great winning streak and he is full of confidence, so it’ll be very difficult in tomorrow’s final,” he added. Thiem also took the opportunity to go up the hill getting a nice view over Como and made an outlet shopping tour during the week.
In the doubles final second-seeds Rameez Junaid and Igor Zelenay took their first title as a team against Marco Crugnola and Stefano Ianni winning 7-5, 7-6 in ninety-three minutes. “I played with Igor last year and we reached one semi and one final but this week we were much better,” Junaid told us. “We didn’t’ start very well today but then we were fighting and we took advantage although the crowd was standing behind them,” the Australian added. “We will play another tournament in Banja Luka together and then we’ll see how it’s going on,” Zelenay told us about their next tournament.
Florian Heer travels the tennis tour with a focus on ATP Challenger events and the ITF Future Circuit! His special interest is in Spanish tennis and you can follow his twitter account @armadadetenis.