Five Lithuanians take part in the ITF international tennis tournament in Vilnius, the President’s Cup. Laurynas Grigelis and Dovydas Šakinis advanced to the second round while Julius Tverijonas, Lukas Mugevičius and Tadas Babelis lost in the first round. In the doubles, three Lithuanian pairs have already qualified for the quarter-finals.
Laurynas Grigelis
© DELFI / Mindaugas Ažušilis

The tournament, with USD 10,000 in prize money, took off on Monday when Tadas Babelis (18) lost to the Dutch player Greikspoor Tallon (19, ATP 1030) in a three-set match 5-7, 6-4, 7-6(4).

Laurynas Grigelis (23, ATP 322) did not work hard against Belarussian Ivan Liutarevich (19, ATP 1254) and won in straight sets 6-2, 6-2. In the second round, Grigelis will play against Tallon Greikspoor which won against Babelis but is not thought to be a serious obstacle to Grigelis.

Grigelis said to the Lithuania Tribune that he was feeling comfortable playing at home: "I don't have pressure because I'm seeded. Playing at home, it's fantastic,“ said the Lithuanian and added regarding his seeding: “I don't think seeding means a lot. I just need to play match after match!“

The second Lithuanian to advance to the second round was Dovydas Šakinis (23, ATP 2004) after winning against Russian Dennis Merkulov (18) in easy straight sets 6-1, 6-1. In the second round, Šakinis will play against much a more experienced player, Russian Ivan Nedelko (29, ATP 542). Nedelko won in the first round against the Australian qualifier Harrison Lombe (20) in three sets 4-6, 6-0, 6-4.

Dovydas Šakinis
Dovydas Šakinis
© DELFI / Tomas Vinickas

The number-seven-seeded Lukas Mugevičius (20, ATP 581) failed to advance to the second round. The Lithuanian misfired against Russian Roland Slobodchikov (21, ATP 1047) in straight sets 6-3, 6-4.

Migevičius was disappointed after the match and said to the Lithuania Tribune: “I definitely feel disappointment because I played at home and lost in the first round in front of people that I love to play for, but it's over now and I will try again next year. The match was tough, I knew it already when the draw came out, a lot of people knew it would be tough. They remembered our match here in Vilnius last year in the quarter-finals when I won 7-6 in the third set.”

Mugevičius analysed his performance thus: “I knew that I could win this match, I just didn’t have enough trust in myself and in my shots in order to beat him. I think that if it hadn’t been the first round, and I had had few matches before, I could have gotten a better result.”

Lukas Mugevičius
Lukas Mugevičius
© DELFI / Mindaugas Ažušilis

Another Lithuanian to leave the tournament in the first round was Julius Tverijonas (21, ATP 1700) who gave a heroic fight to Belarussian Yaraslau Shyla (22, ATP 315) but lost in three sets 3-6, 6-2, 7-5.

Tverijonas told the Lithuania Tribune that the match “was a great fight, really close match, I tried my best and played really well, but unfortunately I lost. I feel quite disappointed that I didn't win, but it's not the end of the world, life goes on, I will go to practice again, get better and play even better next time.”

The young Lithuanian analyses his performance thus: “I couldn't play my 100 percent today because I felt some pain in my back, nothing too bad, but it didn't let me fully concentrate on my game. My opponent was playing well, he was really solid from the baseline and he had more experience than I. Maybe that is what I need when I play against higher-ranked players.”

Tverijonas, who is playing for his college in the USA, is planning to play a few more matches before going back to studies: “I am planning to play two more futures, one in Estonia, one in Latvia, then rest for a few weeks and then go back to the USA, to study, practice and play some tournaments in college tennis.”

Julius Tverijonas
Julius Tverijonas
© DELFI / Šarūnas Mažeika

In the doubles, Tverijonas and his brother Aleksas Tverijonas, who got a wild card to the tournament, won against Shyla who played with another Belarussian Andrei Vasilevski. The Lithuanian brothers won 6-0, 6-7(4), 10-8 and advanced to the quarter-finals. There, the Lithuanians will play against another Lithuanian couple, Tadas Babelis and Kasparas Zamaitelis who won in straight sets 7-5, 6-2 against Latvian Mikelis Libietis and Hunter Reese from the USA.

Laurynas Grigelis and Lukas Mugevičius were seeded in the second place and also advanced to the quarter-finals after beating Russians Ivan Davydov and Dmitry Mnushkin in easy straight sets 6-3, 7-5. In the quarter-finals, Migevičius and Grigelis will play against Brit Samm Buttler and his Russian partner Ronald Slobodchikov. The British-Russian couple won in the first round against Frenchmen Antonie Walch and Baptiste Crepatte.

Dovydas Šakinis and his American partner Brendan Tennenbaum lost in a three-set battle to Russians Evgeny Elistratov and Vitaly Kozyukov with the score 7-6(4), 1-6, 10-7.

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