The Ecuador Open Will Have A New Champion
Thursday was a dangerous day to be a seeded player at the Ecuador Open.
Four seeds, including the only champion the tournament has ever had, all fell in a wild day of tennis in Quito. Three-time champion Victor Estrella Burgos was the first to fall. The Dominican had been 16-0 in Quito, by far his favourite place to play.
But Estrella Burgos, who came back to beat Thomaz Bellucci on Monday, fell for the first time in the Ecuadorian capital, dropping his second-round match to Austrian Gerald Melzer 4-6, 6-1, 6-4. Melzer saved three of four break points to improve to 2-0 in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series.
“I want to congratulate my opponent, he played a good match... He attacked well with his crosscourt forehand,” Estrella Burgos said. “I have won three times here. I would be arrogant saying I’m sad today. How many players would like to have three ATP titles? I hope to be back next year.”
Melzer said: “He won 16 matches in a row here and the previous times we played, we always had a battle. I knew it was going to be a very tough match, and I knew I had to play very well to beat him here.”
Third seed Gael Monfils, playing in his first ATP World Tour match in South America, also needed three sets to move into the quarter-finals. The Frenchman beat #NextGenATP Casper Ruud of Norway 6-3, 3-6, 6-4. Monfils is looking to celebrate his second title of the season after winning the Qatar ExxonMobil Open in Doha during week one.
“I think Casper is a very talented guy... I'm very happy to come through,” Monfils said.
Eighth seed Nicolas Jarry of Chile reached his first ATP World Tour quarter-final, escaping past Stefano Travaglia of Italy 4-6, 7-6(5), 6-3. Jarry won the ATP Challenger Tour event in Quito last September (d. Melzer).
But no other singles seeds who were in action on Thursday found themselves still on the Quito draw sheet at the end of play. Top seed Pablo Carreno Busta, World No. 10, fell to No. 156 Andrej Martin of Slovakia 6-4, 6-2 in just 65 minutes. It was Martin's first Top 10 win (1-2).
“The biggest key for me was I had already played two matches here, this was my third match, so I was already used to these conditions,” said Martin, who qualified for the ATP World Tour 250, “and also I really like these conditions here.”
Fourth seed and 2017 finalist Paolo Lorenzi of Italy fell in straight sets to Spain's Roberto Carballes Baena 7-6(4), 7-5; and #NextGenATP Frenchman Corentin Moutet saved a match point at 5/6 in the third-set tie-break and knocked out seventh seed Ivo Karlovic of Croatia 7-5, 6-7(3), 7-6(6).
DID YOU KNOW?
Estrella Burgos is the only player in ATP World Tour history with three or more titles at one tournament and zero titles at all other events.