Belluati and Lebrón end the Tapia-Jardim revolution

Iezzi's pupils make the semifinals after a top quality encounter

Belluati and Lebrón end the Tapia-Jardim revolution

The men's quarterfinaks at the Estrella Damm Catalunya Master took to centre court with an attractive duel between Juan Cruz Belluati - Juan Lebrón and Marcello Jardim and the very young Agustín TapiaAn all-out battle to be among the top four pairings in the tournament. Both pairings held onto their serves in the early exchanges. Everytime Tapia came up with something a little bit special, Lebron came up with something just as unique. A coming and going of sublime shots which led to a tiebreak. Juan Lebron was the most efficient of the four and the first set went to the pairing coached by Severino Iezzi.

But Tapia and Jardim had already proved in this tournament that they improve as matches go on. After the blow of losing the first set, the Brazilian-Argentine pairing broke in the second. They were broke right back in the following game however. Lebron grew in confidence and Belluati stepped in to control the net. They took three games on the bounce to lead 3-2.

The time had come for Belluati to take control of the match, with a magical performance both in defence and attack. Two breaks put Lebron and Belluati 5-2 up and within inches of their first semifinals together. Tapia and Jardim showed that they had both quality and grit. Marcello's sturdy defence nad Tapia's faith got them five consecutive games to win 7-5. In the third set, Tapia and Jardim took the lead by making the most of Lebron and Belluati's doubts. They broke but were broken back immediately. It was a tense end to the match. Lebron and Belluati took what seemed like a definitive break. But it was nothing further from the truth as Agustin Tapia showed why he's one of the hottest talents around by breaking back in the eighth game. It was 4-4 after almost three hours. Iezzi's pupils held onto their serve and broke to win the match 6-4. The fans got on their feet to send the four gladiators off to a standing ovation.



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