Baez & Lehecka Earn Monte-Carlo Qualifying Wins
Argentina Sebastian Baez came back from the brink Saturday, saving two match points as he overcame Italian Marco Cecchinato 6-7(4), 6-1, 7-6(6) to reach the second qualifying round at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters .
The World No. 66 has enjoyed a strong start to the season, reaching his first tour-level final in Santiago in February. However, he survived a major scare against Cecchinato as he rallied from 1-4 in the final set and saved match points on serve in the decider at 5-6, 15/40 and 30/40 before eventually advancing after two hours and 40 minutes .
The 21-year-old, who reached the semi-finals at the Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals in November, will face Kamil Majchrzak for a spot in the main draw after the Pole defeated Mikael Ymer 6-2, 4-6, 6 -4.
#NextGenATP Czech Jiri Lehecka battled past Switzerland’s Henri Laaksonen 6-7(0), 6-4, 6-2 to move to within one match of making his main-draw debut at an ATP Masters 1000 event.
The 20-year-old upset then-World No. 12 Denis Shapovalov en route to the semi-finals in Rotterdam in February and is currently fourth in the ATP Race To Milan. Lehecka broke Laaksonen five times to triumph after two hours and 15 minutes.
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The World No. 98 will next play Benjamin Bonzi after the Frenchman downed Italian Stefano Travaglia 6-3, 6-3 in 87 minutes. Bonzi captured six ATP Challenger Tour trophies last season and reached the semi-finals in Marseille in February at a tour-level event.
Former World No. 28 Joao Sousa cruised past Spaniard Carlos Taberner 6-1, 6-1 in 75 minutes to advance. Portugal’s Sousa is aiming to make his sixth main-draw appearance in Monte-Carlo, having reached the second round in 2015, 2016 and 2017.
Sousa will face another Spaniard in the shape of Bernabe Zapata Miralles after the 25-year-old downed World No. 64 Soonwoo Kwon 6-7(5), 6-4, 6-2.
Finn Emil Ruusuvuori defeated Italian Gianluca Mager 6-3, 7-5, while Germany’s Oscar Otte downed Valentin Vacherot 6-4, 7-6(3). World No. 78 Jaume Munar rounded off a good day for Spain by overcoming Hugo Nys 6-2, 6-2.
Japan’s Taro Daniel moved past Australian John Millman 6-2, 6-3 and Hugo Dellien upset Frenchman Adrian Mannarino 6-1, 4-6, 7-5. #NextGenATP Dane Holger Rune downed Radu Albot 6-2, 6-3 in 69 minutes, while American Maxime Cressy eliminated Frenchman Luca van Assche 6-3, 6-4.