The eight best pairings at the first international Challenger of the season took each other on at the Centro de Tenis Monsanto, with a place in the semifinals of the Lisboa Challenger 2018 up for grabs.
Botello/Ruiz vs Campagnolo/Bergamini
The first match of the day pitted together two in-form pairings: Uriel Botello - Javier Ruiz vs Lucas Campagnolo - Lucas Bergamini. Both duos exchanged breaks until the sixth game when Botello and Ruiz controlled proceedings to win the first set 6-4. Campagnolo and Bergamini couldn't impose themselves and allowed the Spaniards to break them early on in the second set. Botellos and Ruiz were brimming with confidence and held on to win 6-4 and reach their second semifinals at a Challenger this season.
Rubio/Moreno vs González/González
The second place in the semifinals would go to a pairing that was competing together for the first time in Lisbon: Gonzalo Rubio - Ernesto Moreno vs Jerónimo “Momo” González - Javier González Barahona. The match started off very tight and even, with Rubio and Gonzalez Barahona trying to control things and Rubio and Moreno looking to strike. Gonzalo Rubio and Ernesto Moreno broke first, in the eighth game, and won 6-3. This first set gave them a boost of confidence and they claimed the three of the first four games in the second set. Ernesto Moreno was playing at his best and dominated the second set. Gonzalez/Gonzalez fought for every ball to stay in it and, with Rubio/Moreno serving for the match at 5-4, they got back in it to force a tiebreak. They recovered, however, in the tiebreak and were just too solid for their opponents, winning 7-6 and reaching the semifinals.
Gadea/Cepero vs Jardim/Tapia
The penultimate place in the semifinals would be decide by Marcello Jardim - Agustín Tapia and Ignacio González Gadea - Álvaro Cepero. Despite having come together exclusively for this tournament, and the fact that Cepero was playing on the backhand court, the Spaniards gained control of the match. They broke in the fourth game to lead 3-1 and went on to serve for the match at 5-4. That's when Agustin Tapia pounced and levelled the match, forcing a tiebreak. Cepero and Gadea saved a set point in the tiebreak and went on to win 7-6. In the second set, Jardim and Tapia lost their serve in the third game again. The solidity of the Spanish duo was just too much for their rivals and they broke again in the ninth game to win the match at 6-3 after an hour and forty minutes.
Méndez/Ramos vs Lahoz/Sánchez
The last match of the day at the Centro de Tenis Monsanto was between Martín Sánchez Piñeiro - Willy Lahoz and Rafael Méndez - Diego Ramos. The latter started the match off with a break on Willy Lahoz's serve. Ramos was solid on the forehand court and Mendez was efficient with his smashes, helping them to break again and lead 3-0. Lahoz and Piñeiro broke back once in the fourth game but it wasn't enought and they let the first set slip away 6-2. The Spanish/Uruguayan duo used the same formula in the second set to break in the fifth game and then again in the seventh game to lead 5-2. Lahoz and Piñeiro prolonged the match by breaking back to make it 5-3 and then holding onto their serve but Mendez - Ramos didn't let a second chance slip away and they won 6-4.
The semifinals of the Lisboa Challenger are ready to go.