Nuno Borges pulled off one of the biggest upsets in the ATP Tennis Challenger, being held at the Public Security’s Officers Club courts in Gudaibiya.
The 24-year-old unseeded Portuguese defeated the tournament’s second seed Cem Ilkel 6-3, 6-1 in stunning fashion in their round of 16 match yesterday.
Later, Borges teamed up with compatriot Francisco Cabral to score a come-from-behind win over second seed Indian Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan and Portugal’s Goncalo Oliveira 3-6, 6-2, 10-6.
In the remaining singles matches, Turkey’s Yanki Erel, Evgeny Karlovskiy of Russia and Ryan Peniston of Great Britain lived up to their billings to reach the quarter-finals.
Erel then halted a late comeback from Japanese opponent Hiroki Moriya to emerged winner 6-3, 5-7, 6-2 in a closely-contested battle.
Karlovskiy, aged 27, faced less challenge from Germany’s Johannes Haerteis before picking up a convincing 6-3, 6-1 victory and a spot in the last eight.
The third match of the day saw 26-year-old Briton Peniston edge Geoffrey Blancaneaux of France, also in straight sets 6-3, 6-4, to join others in the quarter-finals.
Five matches were held yesterday in the doubles round of 16 as Austria’s Alexander Erler and Lucas Miedler defeated Duje Ajdukovic of Croatia and Bosnia’s Nerman Fatic 7-6 (4), 6-1.
Saudi Arabia’s Omar Ahmed and Saud Alhogbani retired as they went behind 1-3 in the second set of their match against India’s pair of Arjun Kadhe and Ramkumar Ramanathan, who also took the first set 6-0.
Austria’s Maximilian Neuchrist and Michail Pervolarakis of Greece teamed up to win their match against Johannes Haerteis of Germany and Patrik Niklas-Salminen of Finland 6-3, 6-4, while France’s Geoffrey Blancaneaux and Artem Sitak of Australia made progress with a tough 7-5, 7-6 (5) win over Turkey’s Altug Celikbilek and Yanki Erel.
Action continues today, the fifth day of play, with the quarter-finals of the singles and doubles events. The semi-finals of the singles and doubles events are scheduled for Saturday, while the finals will take place the following day, the concluding day of the championship.
Meanwhile, Bahrain Tennis Federation president Shaikh Abdulaziz bin Mubarak Al Khalifa admired the steps undertaken by the Public Security Sports Association in bringing this world-class tournament to Bahrain for the second time.
“Everything here is running very well at the Officers Club courts and I would like to thank the Public Security Sports Association for the outstanding work they have done in organising this international championship despite the challenges they had,” said Shaikh Abdulaziz.
“All the facilities have been provided to the players, referees and even spectators, and I am so proud for what the association has accomplished in making this event possible in all areas,” added the BTF president.
“Such events also encourage national Bahraini players to put on more efforts and develop their skills at such world tennis competitions,” said Shaikh Abdulaziz.
Physiotherapy department head Sara Bahar said: “Here at the physiotherapy department we work on recovering minor court injuries of the players before and after the matches, in addition to using our facility for certain warm-up exercises.”
“We also welcome 10 to 15 players every day for match preparation, in addition to some injury cases during the previous days of the tournament,” added Bahar.