CHALLENGER WEEKLY SPOTLIGHT 2014
Challenger Weekly Spotlight: Kavcic and Carreno Busta Go Back To Back
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
Aspira Tennis Cup Trofeo CDI (Milan, Italy): The eight-week Italian swing hit the midway point with Albert Ramos-Vinolas winning his second Milan crown on Sunday. The third seeded Spaniard defeated top seed Pere Riba 6-3, 7-5 for the title in a clash of countrymen. It was his fifth triumph on the ATP Challenger Tour and first since prevailing in San Sebastian three years ago. Ramos previously won in Milan in 2011 (d. Korolev). He improves to 8-3 in his FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry with Riba.
Morocco Tennis Tour - Mohammedia: Spanish hopes were soaring last week, with Feliciano Lopez and Roberto Bautista Agut winning on the ATP World Tour and Pablo Carreno Busta joining Ramos in the Challenger winner's circle. In another all-Spanish final, top seed Carreno stopped Daniel Munoz-de la Nava 7-6(2), 2-6, 6-2 for the trophy in Mohammedia. It was a second consecutive title run (Caltanissetta) for the 2013 Most Improved Player of the Year, who improved to 10-0 on the circuit this year and 8-0 in his career in Challenger finals.
Tianjin Health Industry Park Challenger (Tianjin, China): Blaz Kavcic (pictured left, photo credit: Yang Yu) also claimed victory in back-to-back weeks, defeating Alexander Kudryavtsev 6-2, 3-6, 7-5 in a reprisal of their title bout the week prior in Fergana. The Slovenian, who underwent foot surgery just three months ago, is 11-5 in ATP Challenger Tour finals and has won five straight since 2012. Kudryavtsev, meanwhile, remains in search of his maiden crown having lost in eight finals in the last five years.
What the Players are Saying
Ramos: "For me this was a fantastic week. I like playing here in Milan where I won in 2011. There's a great atmosphere and I want to say thanks to all the people who came here. With Pere Riba we know each other very well since we were under 18. We played many matches and I already knew I had to play a difficult match. He changed his game in the second set, he became more aggressive but I was always focused on my game and I came back from 1-5 down with 6 games in a row.
"My next goal? I hope to get better and better every tournament, starting from the next one in Padova, but I don't want to put much pressure on myself."
Riba: "My opponent played better than me in today's final. I played a good tournament. I'm always happy in Italy and I'm already waiting for next year to come back and win."
Carreno Busta (via twitter): "Victory in Mohammedia! I am very happy with these two weeks of Challengers. Now to think about grass..."
Tweet of the Week
Second in a row! Tastes good;))) pic.twitter.com/T7Z0YKLBtm— Blaz Kavcic (@blaz_kavcic) June 22, 2014
Last year's runner-up Diego Sebastian Schwartzman returns to Marburg, Germany as the top seed. Three-time ATP World Tour titlist Thomaz Bellucci is seeded second at the €35,000 clay-court tournament, while Andreas Beck leads home hopes.
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Kavcic and Kudryavtsev are back at it this week in Nanchang, China, as the No. 2 and 3 seeds respectively. Ze Zhang and Di Wu continue their quests to become the first Chinese-born Challenger champion.
Watch free live streaming from the ATP Challenger Tour this week...
Padova, Italy, Centre Court
Marburg, Germany, Centre Court