Photo: Francesco PanunzioIpek Soylu (TUR)
The red clay of the famous Tennis Club Milano Alberto Bonacossa proved to be the undoing of some of the seeds in action on Wednesday at the Grade A 54th Trofeo Bonfiglio and the making of others.
In the girls’ competition, a string of seeds found themselves bundled out of the historic ITF Junior event by lesser-ranked opposition. Fifth seeded American Christina Makarova led the exodus when she lost 46 62 64 to accomplished Mexican Alejandra Cisneros. She was followed by sixth seed Camilia Giangreco Campiz of Paraguay, who was defeated by Fiona Ferro of France 61 62. Nina Stojanovic (SRB) and Barbora Krejcikova (CZE), seeded eighth and ninth respectively, were also upset. Stojanovic lost 64 63 to Viktoriya Lushkova (UKR) and Krejcikova was outlasted 61 46 64 by 16-year-old Russian Veronika Kudermetova.
Kudermetova’s performance should not have come as a complete surprise, though. The teenager is ranked 24 on the ITF Junior Rankings and was runner-up to Swiss Belinda Bencic (currently ranked No.4) at the 35th Torneo International Citta Di Santa Croce earlier in the European Spring. That marked a second Grade 1 final for Kudermetova after her run to the final of the Copa Del Cafe in January and she also made another Grade 2 final besides. Kudermetova now faces her fellow giant-killer, Lushkova in the third round.
Perhaps the biggest plaudits were reserved for Guilia Pairone of Italy, who gave her home crowd plenty to cheer about when she battled past seventh seed Ipek Soylu of Turkey 76(4) 64. She now faces another tough match against Elizaveta Kulichova of Russia, who she plays for a place in the quarter-finals.
Not all the title contenders struggled, however. Top seed Antonio Lottner (GER), third seed Elise Mertens (BEL) and second seed Bencic all progressed to round three, as did Maria Marfutina (RUS), who ended the run of Swiss qualifier Jil Belen Teichmann.
The boys’ draw was not immune to upsets, though all of the top four seeds safely negotiated their way through to round three. Top seed Nikola Milojevic (SRB) eased past Luke Bambridge (GBR) 63 63, while second seed Borna Coric (CRO), third seed Laslo Djere (SRB) and Italian favourite Filippo Baldi (seeded four) all joined Milojevic in round three.
Elias Ymer of Sweden, seeded seventh, saw his tournament come to a sudden end when he was beaten by Germany’s Adrian Obert 63 46 62 but he was not alone in being upset. 11th seed Marcelo Zormann Da Silva (BRA) and fifteenth seed Lucas Miedler (AUT) were also second round casualties.
While Baldi harbours high hopes of following in the footsteps of last year’s boys’ singles champion countryman Gianluigi Quinzi, he faces a potentially difficult round three meeting with wildcard and 16th seed Alexander Zverev (GER). Another Italian, Stefano Napolitano, also moved forward at his home event when he beat Skander Mansouri of Tunisia 64 62 to set up a third round match against unseeded Briton Jonny O’Mara. Baldi and Napolitano could meet in the quarter-finals in a match which would be eagerly anticipated by Milanese tennis fans.
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