ATP Antalya: Sugita edges Ferrer. Altmaier, Seppi and Albot reach QF too

Tennis - 18-year-old lucky loser Daniel Altmaier will perform in his first ATP quarter-final

by Jovica Ilic
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ATP Antalya: Sugita edges Ferrer. Altmaier, Seppi and Albot reach QF too

Right from the start, we could expect some surprising results in an inaugural Antalya Open event, especially when Dominic Thiem got beaten, and Wednesday saw 3 players ranked outside the Top 100 reaching the quarter-final! Yuichi Sugita won Surbiton Challenger on grass 3 weeks ago, and he had a chance to play against Roger Federer in Halle as well.

The Japanese will now play in his 3rd ATP quarter-final after a 6-3 3-6 7-6 victory over struggling David Ferrer in 2 hours and 16 minutes. Despite the result, Sugita won 15 points more than Spaniard, holding more easily and finally prevailing in the deciding tie break by 7-2.

There were 2 breaks on each side in the entire match and it was Yuichi who kicked off the encounter in a better fashion, losing just 3 points on serve in the opening set and breaking Ferrer in game 6 to clinch it by 6-3. We saw deuce in 6 games of the second set but this time it was David who emerged stronger in the crucial points, saving all 3 break points and breaking Sugita in game 8 for an identical 6-3 score.

Japanese had a chance to bring the match home in straight sets, wasting 3 break points in game 7 and losing his focus after that. Younger player controlled the scoreboard in the first part of the final set, breaking in game 4 for a 5-2 lead, but David refused to surrender (as always).

He saved 2 match points on return in game 9 to pull the break back and set up a tie break, but Sugita claimed it by 7-2 with 3 mini-breaks. Promising German Daniel Altmaier, born in 1998, sneak in the main draw as a lucky loser, and he grabbed the opportunity with both hands.

Altmaier, ranked 252nd in the world, outplayed home player with a wild card, Marsel Ilhan, by 6-3 3-6 7-6 in 2 hours and 28 minutes, reaching his first ATP quarter-final in only second ATP event in his career. Hard-hitting German fired 15 aces but it was more experienced Ilhan who had better percentages on both serve and return, winning two points more than his rival overall.

Nevertheless, Daniel had more break points, although they scored 4 breaks each to remain neck and neck until the deciding tie break. It was a solid start for both players, with no break points in the first 7 games, before Daniel converted his 4th in game 8 to take a 5-3 lead.

He closed the set with a good hold, moving just a set away from the last 8. Ilhan bounced back in set number 2, losing 3 points on serve in the first 3 games and breaking Altmaier in game 2 and 6 for a 5-1 advantage. The youngster got one break back in game 7 but that was all he could do, as Marsel clinched the set in game 9 on own serve, to force a decider.

There, Turkish player opened up a 3-1 gap, with additional 3 deuces in game 5 on Altmaier's serve, but German stayed calm and he broke back in game 6 to level the score at 3-3. Ilhan moved ahead once more, with a break in game 7, and he served for the win in game 10.

Daniel broke him at love to prolong the match, and with the momentum on his side, he raced into a 5-1 lead in the tie break. Ilhan saved 2 match points but he fell on third, handing the win to the youngster who made the biggest result of his career so far. Second round results:

↓ SHOW RESULTS ↓

 

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Daniel Altmaier
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