Ramos-Vinolas Sets All-Spanish Final In Quito
It will be an all-Spanish final at the Ecuador Open in Quito, with Albert Ramos-Vinolas prevailing over Thiago Monteiro and Roberto Carballes Baena defeating Andrej Martin in their respective semi-finals.
No.2 seed Albert Ramos-Vinolas will play for his second ATP World Tour title following a tight 6-4, 6-7(4) 6-4 victory over Monteiro. Ramos-Vinolas’ serve remained unbroken in the high-altitude conditions and he out-maneuvered his tenacious Brazilian opponent in the second semi-final of the day.
The all-lefty affair went largely to script in the first set with the higher-ranked Ramos-Vinolas squeezing out the set with a last-minute break. Monteiro, who was playing in his first semi-final at the tour level, kept the encounter close in the second set and capitalised on an early lead in the tie-break to push the match into a decider.
In the third set, the Spaniard broke for an early lead and maintained his strong serving performance from the previous set to claim victory in two hours, 42 minutes. He finished with 76 per cent of service points won and didn’t face a break point in the final two sets.
Ramos-Vinolas will face comptatriot Carballes Baena in the final, his first since his surprising run to the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters last season (l. to Rafael Nadal) and will play for his first ATP World Tour title since 2016, when he raised the trophy in Bastad (d. Fernando Verdasco). The 30-year-old leads the FedEx ATP Head2Head with Carballes Baena 2-0.
Earlier in the day, Carballes Baena reached his maiden ATP World Tour final, battling back to defeat fellow qualifier Andrej Martin 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 in just under two and a half hours in the Ecuadorian capital.
It was just the second tour-level semi-final of Carballes Baena’s career (2014 Casablanca), while Martin was looking to win his second semi-final in as many tries (2016 Umag).
Carballes Baena, a quarter-finalist last year in Quito, shot out to an early 3-0 lead in the first set, before Martin’s heavy groundstrokes off both wings reeled him back in.
The 24-year-old Spaniard managed to shift the tide of the match at the start of the second set, saving three break points from 0/40 in the first game. With the momentum now firmly in his favour and his forehand firing, Carballes Baena surged to a double-break lead in the decisive set, eventually prevailing over his Slovakian opposition after forcing an error into the net.
"I’m very happy. I didn’t expect it, when I arrived in Quito. I’m improving every day and I played a great match after the first set today," said Carballes Baena after the match. “I’m not a favourite tomorrow. It will be my first final. I’m happy to be here, into the final, and I want to recover and if I’m fine, I will have chances."
Carballes Baena, who has won three ATP Challenger Tour titles out of seven finals, moves to a 7-2 lifetime record in Quito and gets set for the biggest match of his career on Sunday.
Did You Know?
Ramos-Vinolas and Carballes Baena will play to become just the second-ever singles champion at the Ecuador Open. Three-time defending champion Victor Estrella Burgos, who lost in the second round to Gerald Melzer, had won the tournament every year since its inception in 2015.