CHALLENGER WEEKLY SPOTLIGHT 2014
Challenger Weekly Spotlight: Falla, Gojowczyk And Klahn Prevail On Home Soil
by Josh Meiseles|
Revisit the week that was on the ATP Challenger Tour as we applaud the achievements of those on the rise and look ahead to who’s in action in the week to come.
A LOOK BACK
Bucaramanga Open (Colombia): A week after taking a set from eventual champion Stanislas Wawrinka in the Australian Open second round, Alejandro Falla won his 11th ATP Challenger Tour title, defeating fourth-seed Paolo Lorenzi 7-5, 6-1 in Bucaramanga. Falla, who saved four match points in a second round victory over Gonzalo Lama, became the first player in Challenger history to claim consecutive titles in the opening weeks of the season. The Colombian prevailed in Noumea to begin his 2014 campaign.
Intersport Heilbronn Open (Germany): Home favourite Peter Gojowczyk continued his torrid start to the year, denying top seed Igor Sijsling 6-4, 7-5 in the Heilbronn final for his 14th match win (ATP World Tour, Challenger and qualifying matches included). Earlier in the month, the German reached his first tour-level semi-final as a qualifier in Doha, taking a set from World No. 1 Rafael Nadal. It was his second Challenger title in five finals, having won in Ningbo in 2012. Gojowczyk soars 36 spots to No. 99 in the Emirates ATP Rankings with the win, entering the Top 100 for the first time.
Royal Lahaina Challenger (United States): Bradley Klahn continued his assault on the rankings as well, turning aside Tsung-Hua Yang 6-2, 6-3 in Maui for his third ATP Challenger Tour title. The California native will ascend to a career high No. 82 in the world, extending his strong run of form to a combined 21-5 record since late October of last year. Klahn has reached three Challenger finals in that span.
Alejandro Falla won his 11th ATP Challenger Tour title, defeating Paolo Lorenzi in the Bucaramanga final. Photo credit: Bucaramanga Open
What the Players are Saying
Falla: “I'm very happy. It's incredible. To win in front of the public here in Colombia is very special...It's been an incredible (start to the) year to play in three tournaments, win two and compete against Wawrinka in the other.”
Gojowczyk: “I was very nervous today, but then I got Igor under control. I think I could read his service pretty good. I’m very happy and want to reach the Top 50 as soon as possible.”
Sijsling: “I played good today, but Peter was too strong. I enjoyed this week very much. The crowd was fantastic.”
Klahn: “I knew coming in it was going to be a great match, he’s had a great week, getting a lot of good wins, all four, so I was mentally prepared for a battle. And I was really happy with the way I came out and started playing. I thought I just kept getting better and better with each match throughout this tournament. I felt really comfortable out there.”
Bradley Klahn (at centre), won his third Challenger title in Maui. Photo credit: Stephanie Hughes-White
Home favourite James Duckworth is the top seed at the Burnie Challenger, in Australia, this week and is joined by 2012 champion Danai Udomchoke. Meanwhile, at the third Panama Cup de Chitre, a red hot Falla looks to continue his strong start to the year.