* Leon, Mexico, $75,000+H (Outdood Hard) : At the age of 25, Roberto Quiroz will compete in his first Challenger semi-final in Leon, after beating the top seed Victor Estrella Burgos 7-6 6-4 in an hour and 30 minutes. Quiroz served at only 52% but his first serve worked well, giving him some free points and he also played well in the crucial moments, saving all 4 break points he faced.
Estrella Burgos played against only 2 break points, losing serve once, but those chances he missed on return cost him the match in the end. We saw some good serving from both in the opening 10 games, with no break chances what so ever, before Ecuadorian fends off two in game 11.
Estrella Burgos had some issues in his service game as well, saving a set point in game 12 and holding after 4 deuces to set up a tie break, which Quiroz took by 7-4, scoring 2 mini-breaks to clinch the opener. With the momentum on his side, he took an early break in set number 2 and after saving 2 break points in game 2 he kept his advantage until game 10 when he served out for the win and a very important result.
Immediately after winning the doubles title in Indian Wells, Rajeev Ram went off to play this Challenger and it has been so far so good for him, as he beat Mirza Basic 7-6 6-3 for his first Challenger semis since Ortisei in November 2015. It was a fast and fluid match between two good servers, especially in the first set when there were no break points.
Ram played a great tie break, stealing rival's serve 4 times for an easy 7-2, he had to save 3 break points at the start of the second set, which proved to be very crucial. After that, Ram won 16 out of 20 points to rattle off 4 games in a row and break Basic in games 3 and 5, moving 4-1 in front and finishing the match in game 9 on his 4th match point (Mirza saved the first 3 on serve in game 8).
Young Chilean Nicolas Jarry had a very promising U20 career but things didn't work in his favor after that, as he struggled to upgrade his game and move closer to the Top 100, also being halted by injuries. He is making some progress in 2017, though, reaching already his 3rd semi-final and adding more points to his tally. Jarry needed 2 hours and 15 minutes and all kind of drama to prevail against the 3rd seed Vasek Pospisil by 3-6 7-5 7-6, saving 5 break points in the 9th game of the final set.
Being almost 2 meters tall, Nicolas used his serve well but he had to save 6 out of 7 break points to stay in contention, although we already said that 5 of those came in one game alone. Vasek was in the better rhythm in the first set, breaking his rival in game 8 to close the set on own serve in the game that followed, for a 6-3.
Jarry served better in set number 2 and he managed to steal the set just before the tie break, breaking Vasek in game 12 to level the score and send the match into a decider. There, it was Canadian who had comfortable holds, and Nicolas was also solid, except that game when he somehow survived 5 break points.
Chilean notched 2 mini-breaks in the deciding tie break, taking it by 7-2 to book his place in the last 4. Quarter-final results: [Q]Roberto Quiroz (ECU) vs Victor Estrella Burgos (DOM) 7-6(4) 6-4 [1:30]
Rajeev Ram (USA) vs Mirza Basic (BIH) 7-6(2) 6-3 [1:17]
Nicolas Jarry (CHI) vs Vasek Pospisil (CAN) 3-6 7-5 7-6(2) [2:15]
[Q]Adrian Menendez-Maceiras (ESP) vs Teymuraz Gabashvili (RUS) 6-7(5) 6-4 6-3 [2:31]
Brieuc, France, €43,000+H (Indoor Hard) : Quarter-final results: [Q]Egor Gerasimov (BLR) vs Marco Chiudinelli (SUI) 7-5 7-6(6) [1:43]
[WC]Corentin Moutet (FRA) vs James McGee (IRL) 2-6 7-6(7) 7-6(5) [2:28]
Gleb Sakharov (FRA) vs Lukas Lacko (SVK) 6-2 7-6(3) [1:42]
Tobias Kamke (GER) vs Sergiy Stakhovsky (UKR) 7-5 6-3 [1:19] ALSO READ: Semi-final results on Challenger Tour: Shapovalov saves MP against Janowicz for back-to-back finals