CHALLENGER WEEKLY SPOTLIGHT 2014
Challenger Weekly Spotlight: Kavcic Denied Third Straight Title By Soeda
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
ATP Challenger China International (Nanchang, China): Top seed Go Soeda denied Blaz Kavcic a third straight ATP Challenger Tour title, upending the Slovenian in a third set tie-break in the Nanchang final. Kavcic had triumphed in Fergana and Tianjin in previous weeks. Soeda, who prevailed 6-3, 2-6, 7-6(3), moves into a tie for fourth place on the all-time Challenger titles list with 15. The Japanese improves to 230-123 on the circuit with the win.
Challenger 2001 Team "Citta' di Padova" (Padova, Italy): Maximo Gonzalez surged to 14-5 in Challenger finals with a dominant showing in Padova, defeating top seed Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-3, 6-4 for the title. The Argentine improves to an impressive 20-3 on the Challenger Tour since mid-April. Former World No. 38 Ramos, who won his 100th match on the circuit with a title run in Milan the week prior, was bidding for his sixth crown.
All-Time ATP Challenger Tour Titles Leaders
|1. Yen-Hsun Lu||20|
|2T. Takao Suzuki||16|
|2T. Dudi Sela||16|
|4T. Go Soeda
|4T. Michael Russell||15|
|4T. Ricardo Mello||15|
|4T. Younes El Aynaoui||15|
|8T. Maximo Gonzalez
|8T. Marcos Daniel||14|
|8T. Carlos Berlocq||14|
Marburg Open (Marburg, Germany): Horacio Zeballos (photo credit: Diamond Media/Matthias Paul) gave Argentina its second ATP Challenger Tour title of the week, rallying for a 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 victory over big-hitting Dutchman Thiemo de Bakker in the Marburg final. Zeballos ended a four-match losing skid entering the week, emerging with his 12th Challenger trophy and first of the year. The 29 year old has won six consecutive finals since 2012. He is the fourth Argentine to triumph this year, joining Gonzalez, Diego Sebastian Schwartzman and Facundo Arguello.
What the Players are Saying
Soeda (pictured left, photo credit: Nanchang Challenger organising committee): "The tournament is nice and the people are nice. It is the first time here but I like it. I played five tournaments this year in China and I had a great time.
"My goal is Top 100 (in the Emirates ATP Rankings) this year. I want to break my best ranking (47) next year."
Gonzalez: "Congratulations to those who made this a great tournament. I felt at home and I thank those Argentines who have come here. I want to thank my girlfriend, who this week has joined me here as I was without a coach."
Zeballos: "The strategy was to continue to improve at this time. I know I can play good tennis and I'm fine physically, but what I work on is my inner dialogue and trying to be positive...forgiving mistakes and live a little more in the present.
"Having lost the first set and seeing Thiemo was playing better than me, I tried to stay calm to win. And that worked."
I gave my all today but there was no more energy left. Very happy to be back in top 100. Next stop Tilia Open. Cant wait...;) @SloveniaOpen— Blaz Kavcic (@blaz_kavcic) June 29, 2014
Andrey Golubev is the top seed at the €106,500 Sparkassen Open in Braunschweig, Germany, while Horacio Zeballos seeks a second consecutive title. Thomaz Bellucci, champion in 2012, and 2006 titlist Jan Hajek are also in the field.
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Michael Russell and Tim Smyczek lead the charge on home soil in Winnetka, where 12 different Americans have claimed titles since 1984. Unseeded Australian John-Patrick Smith was the champion in 2012 and Aussie young gun Thanasi Kokkinakis is in the draw as well.
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Todi, Italy, plays host to the eighth edition of the Distal & ITR Group Tennis Cup. Maximo Gonzalez, seeded No. 2, eyes a second title in as many weeks, while 2011 runner-up Filippo Volandri is the top home hope and is seeded third.
Watch free live streaming from the ATP Challenger Tour this week...
Winnetka, United States, Centre Court
Braunschweig, Germany, Centre Court