Polish wild card Pawel Cias managed to defeat Peter Torebko, the world No. 314, in the first round of the Pekao Szczecin Open, 7-5 3-6 6-4. The Pole is a good example of a player who is ridiculously talented, yet can’t even give himself a chance to make it to the upper echelon of the game due to financial reasons. He is a former World No. 393 and had tight matches with players like Rogerio Dutra Silva and Oscar Otte.
Ciaś got his wild card into the tournament by winning the 93rd Polish National Tennis Championships in Gliwice. It was Paweł’s third title at the event and the champion is awarded a wild card to the Szczecin Challenger. In an interview with “Przegląd Sportowy,” Ciaś mentioned that the wild card was his biggest motivation to fight for the championship.
The Pole is a very talented shotmaker. With really explosive footwork, he can hit a forehand from every position on the court. Ciaś often mixes up powerful hitting with delicate dropshots and can take the ball on the rise. He’s a fast runner and can turn defense into offense in a blink of an eye.
If there is a major issue with Paweł’s game, it’s his comfort zone. He feels most natural hitting a meter or two behind the court. This gives him the tendency to play too passively in tense moments. Against Torebko, he managed to play the big points perfectly, throwing everything he had at the German.
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With relatively no success on the professional tour, Ciaś is in a spot where he would love to try playing week-in, week-out again. Unfortunately, he lacks the financial means to do so. The 25-year-old has played just one tournament outside of Poland this year. If it wasn’t for the national championships title, we wouldn’t be seeing him in Szczecin now. To support himself financially, Paweł has a part-time job as a tennis coach. In a press conference after his win over Torebko, Ciaś said that he really hopes someone with money can spot him and give him the financial means to go “full-professional” again.
The Pole will face Alessandro Gianessi, the 2016 champion, in the second round. The former champion is a left-handed natural clay-courter, but he has been struggling with injury issues recently, retiring last week in Genoa down 0-6 0-2 to Viktor Galovic. It will be the final match of the day and with the much-needed help of the Polish crowd, the world No. 1519 might be able to produce another stunner.