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.
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.