In the 1/8 finals of the Challenger in Alicante, German representative Misha Zverev will play against Frederico Ferreira Silva from Portugal.
The 34-year-old Zverev has been playing quite rarely lately and at the same time unsuccessfully. After several defeats in a row, the German took a break from mid-August to the end of September. At the Challenger qualifiers in Orleans and Muiron-le-Captif, Misha lost his matches. In Orleans, there was a defeat by the Frenchman Kyrian Jacquet – 6:7 (4:7); 1:6. And in Muiron-le-Captif, there was a defeat from another representative of France, Jurgen Briand - 3:6; 3:6. After that, Zverev paused for another week and already arrived at the tournament in Alicante. In the 1/16 finals, Zverev turned out to be stronger than Ukrainian Vladislav Orlov - 6:2; 6:1. This success can still be called local, but there is hope that the German was finally able to get in good shape to at least give battle to more or less serious rivals in the Challengers.
Frederico Ferreira Silva
The 26-year-old Portuguese has recently been performing on clay and hard with varying success, while it is believed that he still plays better at clay tournaments. At the end of September, at a clay tournament in Lisbon, Ferreira Silva passed a couple of stages, but did not beat anyone serious, and Andrea Pellegrino defeated the Portuguese in the quarterfinals – 3:6; 1:6. Then Ferreira Silva already switched to hard. Frederico failed to qualify for the Challenger main draw in Muiron-le-Captif, but he was up against a serious opponent. The Czech Jiri Vesely justified the status of the favorite and as a result he was able to win a strong-willed victory – 3:6; 6:3; 6:2. Then, after almost a week's pause, Ferreira Silva arrived in Alicante. In the 1/16 finals, Frederico made a local sensation and beat Kenten Gali from France in an extremely stubborn fight – 6:7 (3:7); 7:6 (7:4); 7:6 (8:6).
In the match against Zverev, Ferreira Silva is already an almost unconditional favorite, but at the same time there are often a lot of unpredictable matches at the Challengers. Maybe Misha won't win this match, but he can take more than 9.5 games.