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Challenger Weekly Spotlight: Arguello Wins Itajai Title On 10th Match Point

Arguello© Rafael MoreiraFacundo Arguello (right) won his second ATP Challenger Tour title in Itajai.

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

Taroii Open de Tenis (Itajai, Brazil): Facundo Arguello needed 10 match points to defeat countryman Diego Sebastian Schwartzman 4-6, 6-0, 6-4 for the Itajai crown. The second seed had reeled off 11 of 12 games after dropping the first set, but his fellow Argentine would not be deterred, saving nine match points before eventually succumbing. Arguello, pupil of 2004 Roland Garros champion and former World No. 5 Gaston Gaudio, won his second ATP Challenger Tour title in his ninth final. The 21 year old ascends to a career-high No. 104 in the Emirates ATP Rankings.

Mersin Cup (Mersin, Turkey): Damir Dzumhur, who made headlines at this year's Australian Open as the first player from Bosnia & Herzegovina to qualify for a Grand Slam, en route to the third round, claimed his maiden Challenger trophy in Mersin. Dzumhur prevailed 7-6(4), 6-3 over top seed Pere Riba, who entered the final having won 11 of his previous 12 matches. The eighth-seeded 21-year-old was competing in his third title match after falling in Kosice (l. to Kukushkin) and Poznan (l. to Haider-Maurer) last year. He joins Amer Delic as the only players to win on the Challenger circuit under the Bosnian flag.

Dzumhur: Emirates ATP Stars of Tomorrow

What the Players are Saying 
SchwartzmanArguello: "I am very happy with this victory. In the first set I was very nervous and it hurt me in decisive moments. I am very happy to win once again in Brazil. I feel like I'm almost home."

Schwartzman (pictured left, photo credit Rafael Moreira): "It was a great match. It is a bitter feeling losing because it is a final.”

Riba (via twitter): "Today it wasn't to be in the final. He played a good match and I didn't take advantage of many opportunities. I'm happy because I left everything on the court and fought until the end. Tomorrow I return to Barcelona to prepare for the next tournament."

WHAT'S AHEAD

The three-week Har-Tru USTA Pro Circuit Wild Card Challenge gets underway in Sarasota, Florida. Last year, Alex Kuznetsov claimed the title and eventually received the USTA's wild card entry to Roland Garros. This year, Kuznetsov is seeded sixth and is joined by countrymen Donald Young, Jack Sock, Michael Russell and Tim Smyczek. Young gun Nick Kyrgios makes his long-awaited return following a two-month hiatus due to a shoulder injury.
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In Santiago, Chile, Arguello aims for consecutive titles as the No. 2 seed. Denis Kudla is seeded first, while 10-time ATP Challenger Tour champion and 2012 Santiago titlist Paul Capdeville continues his farewell tour.
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The Challenger circuit returns to Sao Paulo following Joao Souza's victory in the first week of the season. The Brazilian is seeded fifth and is accompanied by No. 1 seed Blaz Rola and Argentines Guido Pella, Horacio Zeballos and Schwartzman.
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The fourth clay-court event of the week is in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, where top seed Alejandro Falla seeks a third Challenger crown in 2014. Paolo Lorenzi, finalist in 2009 and 2012, is seeded second, while defending champion and fellow Italian Alessio di Mauro is also in the field.

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Santiago, Chile, Centre Court

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