Staged at the Val Gardena Südtirol, Ortisei Challenger is one of the fastest in the calendar and it represents the good old attacking tennis in its full glory. The matches on these indoor courts are as short as they could be and we already had a chance to see a barrage of aces and some record-breaking matches in terms of aces and the time needed to complete tie break encounters.
Albano Olivetti fired 11 aces in a row and the last qualifying round clash between world number 433 Tobias Simon and Aldin Setkic has earned the place in the record books as well, with the German prevailing 7-6 6-7 7-6 in just two hours and 17 minutes after firing jaw-dropping 52 aces for one of the best performances ever in the best-of-three matches! Back at Wimbledon 1993, Gary Muller had 54 aces in a 4-6 7-6 20-18 win over Peter Lundgren in the opening qualifying round but with much more games played, and Ivo Karlovic blasted 45 in the quarter-final of Halle against Tomas Berdych back in 2015.
A tall German managed to surpass the record of Karlovic on this sick fast indoor court some 1200 meters above the sea level in a roller coaster match against Setkic that saw seven break points but no breaks of serve in the entire encounter.
It was the attacking tennis of the finest order whole day long from both players and the crowd on the smaller Court 1 had a chance to see a thrilling match and almost 70 aces overall! They won 125 out of 155 points on the first serve combined and kept the second serve safe enough to stay away from breaks.
To complete the match with three tie breaks in less than two hours and 20 minutes players have to meet some criteria that define the elements of the fast and fluid clash that we certainly have seen between these two, with a lot of service winners, quick games and not too extended tie breaks.
Only four games have reached one deuce and this was a very important segment of the match, keeping the number of points low and reducing the time required to finish three tie breaks and 223 points in 137 minutes. Tobias and Aldin wasted no time between points, which is also significant and they did their best to attack first and try to win the point with an aggressive groundstroke or net rushing.
112 of 223 points ended up with an unreturned serve, as Simon counted to 69 service winners and 43 that Setkic added to diminish the actual action on the court to the lowest margins. There were 11 double faults as well and only 47 points have passed the four-shot mark to keep the rallies as short as possible.
In addition, they played only eight points with 10 strokes or more and this was a textbook fast indoor tennis match, something we can't see on the ATP Tour for many years now. Interestingly, nothing of this would have happened if they both managed to convert 40-0 on the return but the servers stayed focused to win the next five points and fend off those break points and stay on the positive side of the scoreboard to reach the tie break in every set and allow Tobias Simon to blast those 52 aces that put him in the record books. Point by point result and number of shots in each rally: