Carballés confirms his candidacy in Marrakech

The Spaniard already has eight victories in Morocco

April 05, 2024

Roberto Carballés Baena is seeking his third ATP Tour title in his career this week in Marrakech.
By Staff

The clay of the Grand Prix Hassan II of Marrakech responds to the footsteps of Roberto Carballés Baena, determined to protect his title as current champion in the African ATP 250. This Friday, the Spaniard was two steps away from revalidating the cup won a year ago in the tournament, where he already presents eight consecutive victories as the main compelling argument. The message to the locker room seems clear: a few kilometers from home, no one handles the tournament like the Granada native.

To place himself among the last four contenders for the trophy, Carballés Baena resolved the most competitive match of the week on Moroccan clay, defeating the American Nicolás Moreno de Alborán 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 in two hours and 32 minutes of effort. Against a first-time opponent at this stage of an ATP Tour event, the Spaniard, who barely conceded a break point in the entire match, managed to impose his poise to find the way to victory.

“It was a very tough match,” acknowledged the Spaniard during his on-court interview. “Nico is a quite complicated opponent, he is serving at a high level and his forehand is very aggressive. In the third set I managed to be a little more offensive and I feel happy for having played a great match.”

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In a week of special aroma, in which he has reached 100 victories on the professional circuit, Carballés Baena focused his thoughts on improving his level on the track. Strengthen his figure as a backline talent to attack the final rounds with guarantees. The Spaniard reaches the semifinals after having accumulated a remarkable volume of matches, delivering just one set on the way to the penultimate match in Marrakech.

“I’m feeling pretty good,” said the reigning champion, who already reached the semifinals in the 2014 edition and the quarterfinals in 2022, accumulating a record of 11-3 throughout his career in the tournament. “In Marrakech I am always able to play my best tennis and I hope to be able to maintain this line”

With the proximity of the trophy as a certainty from now on, the Granada native will face some high-voltage semifinals on Moroccan clay. Carballés Baena will play the penultimate round against Pavel Kotov, present in the semifinals of the tournament for the second consecutive season after defeating the Italian Fabio Fognini 6-1, 6-2. No. 68 in the PIF ATP Rankings is an unprecedented rival on the circuit for the current champion.

In the lower part of the draw, the Italian Matteo Berrettini sealed his ticket to the semifinals after beating his compatriot Lorenzo Sonego 6-3, 7-6(5). The Roman, who is trying to return to the highest level after leaving wrist and foot injuries behind, climbs to the penultimate round of an ATP Tour tournament for the first time since October 2022.

Berrettini will face Argentine Mariano Navone in the semifinals, who defeated Australian Alexander Vukic 6-2, 6-4. The South American, who reached the final of the ATP 500 in Rio de Janeiro in February at the age of 23, once again displays his power on clay and is one step away from breaking into the Top 50 of the PIF ATP Rankings.

Did you know…?
Roberto Carballés aspires to become the second player capable of reaching consecutive clay finals of the Grand Prix Hassan II at its current home in Marrakech. The Granada native can follow in the footsteps of his compatriot Pablo Andújar, one of the biggest names in the history of the tournament as 2018 champion and 2019 finalist.


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