The Argentines Facundo Mena, Juan Pablo Ficovich and Thiago Tirante won their respective quarterfinal matches and reached the semifinals of the Challenger de Ambato, in Ecuador, a contest that is played on brick dust. Mena, ranked 269th in the ATP world rankings, beat Frenchman Alexis Gautier (380th), with partials of 7-6 and 6-4, after an hour and 29 minutes of play. The tennis player born in Buenos Aires added, in this way, his eighth triumph in a row, since last week he was awarded the Challenger of Quito.
Mena’s next opponent will be Thiago Tirante, 255th in the world and seventh seed in the tournament, who beat Austrian Gerald Melzer (818th), 6-3 and 6-4.On the other hand, Buenos Aires Native Juan Pablo Ficovich (246th) recovered from an erratic start and beat Swiss Johan Nikles (410th) 0-6, 7-6, 7-5. The player from Berazategui will face tomorrow the top seed of the tournament, the Peruvian Juan Pablo Varillas (121°), who surpassed the Santa Fe Matías Zukas (522°), with partials of 6-2 and 6-4.The Argentine tennis players have had a great season in the category below the ATP tournaments, since they conquered this year 14 Challengers.