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Challenger Weekly Spotlight: Kyrgios Wins In Comeback Debut In Sarasota

Dutra Silva© João Pires/FotojumpRogerio Dutra Silva turned aside top seed Blaz Rola for the Sao Paulo title.

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

Sarasota Open (Sarasota, Florida, U.S.A.): The theme of the week on the ATP Challenger Tour was successful returns from injury and Nick Kyrgios certainly belongs in that category. The charismatic Aussie young gun, who turned heads at this year's Australian Open, won his second Challenger title at the $100,000 Sarasota Open. Kyrgios, who was on the sidelines for the past two months due to a right elbow injury, was competing in just his first career clay-court Challenger. He prevailed 7-6(10), 6-4 in Sunday's final, ending Filip Krajinovic's 14-match win streak.

Sarasota: The Challenger Standard

Sao Paulo Challenger de Tenis (Sao Paulo, Brazil): Rogerio Dutra Silva gave Brazil a second Challenger title in Sao Paulo in 2014 after defeating college champ and top seed Blaz Rola 6-4, 6-2 on Sunday. Joao Souza had won the first title in the Brazilian metropolis earlier in the year. Dutra Silva, who claimed his fifth Challenger crown in 10 finals, struggled with an ankle injury in 2013. The sixth-seed did not drop a set all week.

Cachantun Cup (Santiago, Chile): James Duckworth returned to action after 10 weeks away with an armde Bakker injury, reaching the final in Santiago. Duckworth would face Dutch qualifier and former World No. 40 Thiemo de Bakker for the title and held three championship points in the second set — but was unable to capitalise. De Bakker (pictured right, photo credit: Cachantun Cup), the 2013 runner-up, captured his eighth trophy on the Challenger circuit, defeating his Australian opponent 4-6, 7-6(10), 6-1. Meanwhile, Federico Coria, younger brother of former World No. 3 Guillermo Coria, reached his first Challenger quarter-final.

San Luis Open (San Luis Potosi, Mexico): Italian veteran Paolo Lorenzi ran away with the title 6-1, 6-3 over Adrian Menendez-Maceiras. The No. 2 seed was the runner-up in 2009 (l. to Giraldo) and 2012 (l. to Ramirez Hidalgo). Lorenzi, who reached his first ATP World Tour final at the Brasil Open in February, won his 11th Challenger crown. The upset of the tournament belonged to 18 year old and World No. 1336 Lucas Gomez, who stunned top-seed Alejandro Falla in the first round.

What the Players are Saying 
KyrgiosKyrgios (pictured left, photo credit: USTA): “I was really lucky. Whoever won that tie-breaker I thought was going to take it.

"Honestly, I don’t know how I won that match. He got a bit nervous, didn’t take chances and didn’t close out the match."

Krajinovic: “It was really tough losing that tie-breaker. My confidence went down a little bit from there. But you have to play tough for two sets.”

Lorenzi: "I'm very happy to win this final. I will come back next year. This is a great triumph in my career."

De Bakker: "I'm happy to win this year after last year's final. Santiago's been good to me."

Dutra Silva: "The title came in a very good time. It became a movie in my head with everything that has happened since the beginning of the year, the injury. I do not know if I would ever play again at a good level. Those doubts are there. I kept my cool and my family and my wife helped me a lot.

"Now I get to grow as much as possible, with the goal of returning to the Top 100. I'm much more relaxed. I'll be a father now. It is a new phase of life that is helping me a lot. I'm enjoying every day and I still have many years of my career ahead."

Rola (video courtesy of Sao Paulo Challenger de Tenis/Renan Arthur Justi)

They Tweeted It

Twitter@NickKyrgios (Nick Kyrgios)
Looking forward to tonight, I can't wait to get back out there and compete again after the other night. Loving being back out here. #Tennis

@JamesDuck21 (James Duckworth)
If anyone at @CachantunCup is reading this, someone has forgotten I was in the gym and locked all the doors....please help!!! #funtimes

@CrisGarin (Christian Garin)
Doubles champions of the Santiago Challenger http://instagram.com/p/m-yh54Co43/

WHAT'S AHEAD
The three-week Har-Tru USTA Pro Circuit Wild Card Challenge continues in Savannah, with Daniel Kosakowski seeking to build on his 35-point lead on the field. Kyrgios looks to win consecutive titles and could potentially square off with top-seed Donald Young in the second round, a rematch of their quarter-final encounter in Sarasota. Fellow Aussie young gun Thanasi Kokkinakis is seeking a main draw berth from qualifying.
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In Vercelli, Italy, Dustin Brown is the top seed at the inaugural Citta' di Vercelli and is joined by home favourites Potito Starace and Simone Bolelli. A clash of rising talents, between Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Filip Peliwo, highlights first round action.
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De Bakker and Dutra Silva will vie for their second titles in as many weeks, in Santos, Brazil. Defending champion Gastao Elias faces second-seed Rola in the first round. American Denis Kudla is the top seed.
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Shenzhen, China plays host to its first Challenger, the lone hard court event of the week. Yen-Hsun Lu is the No. 1 seed and is looking to add a 21st trophy to his collection. 

Watch free live streaming from the ATP Challenger Tour this week...

Savannah, U.S.A., Centre Court

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Vercelli, Italy, Centre Court

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Watch live matches from Santos online as well

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© Tessa Kolodny

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