CHALLENGER WEEKLY SPOTLIGHT 2014
Challenger Weekly Spotlight: Groth Wins Maiden Title
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
Challenger Banque Nationale (Rimouski, Canada): Samuel Groth claimed his first ATP Challenger Tour title in Rimouski on Sunday, eight years removed from his Challenger debut. Groth, who had fallen in three previous finals, defeated Ante Pavic 7-6(3), 6-2 in the title match. Last week, the big-serving Australian qualified for his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 main draw in Indian Wells. For Pavic, it was a career week as well, having previously never advanced past the quarter-finals of a Challenger event. The World No. 229 dropped just one set en route to the final.
Visit Panama Cup (Panama City): Pere Riba denied Blaz Rola his second ATP Challenger Tour title of the year with a 7-5, 5-7, 6-2 victory in the Panamanian capital. Rola, who won the title in Guangzhou last month, was riding a nine-match win streak into Sunday's final, but was unable to sustain a late rally. Riba captured his seventh Challenger trophy in 17 finals with the victory. The Barcelona native is the second Spaniard to prevail in Panama City in as many years, after Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo triumphed in a deciding tie-break in 2013. Riba pictured below (photo credit: Fabricio Valdivieso)
What the Players are Saying
Riba: "This has been a marvelous week in Panamá, a beautiful country. It was a very tough tournament for me due to the high level showed by all the players. Tonight’s match was not the exception. I did not get desperate. This was the key."
Groth: "It's great to win here as it was my third time in Rimouski. I'm having a great start of the season. I made the quarters in Brisbane, I qualified in Indian Wells and now I just won my first Challenger.
"I was very nervous today at the beginning of the match but once I was able to come on top, I played much better."
Kenny de Schepper, champion in Cherbourg last month, leads a a strong field in Guadalajara, Mexico. Defending champion Alex Bogomolov, Jr. is seeded third and is slated for a rematch of last year's final with Rajeev Ram in the first round. Recent ATP Challenger Tour titlists Victor Estrella Burgos (Salinas), Gerald Melzer (Morelos) and Samuel Groth (Rimouski) look to continue their strong runs of form.
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In Barranquilla, Colombia, top seed and 2012 champion Alejandro Falla seeks his third Challenger crown of the year after triumphing twice in January (Noumea, Bucaramanga). Riba and Rola are on a collision course for a semi-final battle. Junior No. 1 Alexander Zverev received a wild card and will duel with second seed Albert Ramos in the first round.
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Guadalajara, Mexico, Centre Court
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Barranquilla, Colombia, Centre Court
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