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Challenger Spotlight: Baghdatis Bags Aptos Title

Schwartzman© Advantage Cars Open PragueDiego Schwartzman kissed his third ATP Challenger Tour trophy in Prague.

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

Comerica Bank Challenger (Aptos, California, U.S.A.): Second-seed Marcos Baghdatis (pictured below, photo credit: Joyce Tarter Rideout) continued his hot streak on the ATP Challenger Tour, winning a second straight title and the ninth of his career. The Cypriot defeated top seed Mikhail Kukushkin 7-6(7), 6-4 on Sunday, converting on his fourth match point. Baghdatis holds an impressive 77-25 record on the circuit and is 15-0 in 2014, including title runs on the grass of Nottingham and hard courts of Vancouver a week ago. The former World No. 8 will return to theBaghdatis Top 100 of the Emirates ATP Rankings for the first time in eight months.

San Marino Go&Fun Open (City of San Marino, San Marino): Adrian Ungur routed Antonio Veic in the San Marino final, triumphing 6-1, 6-0 in a mere 50 minutes. It was the third Challenger final to finish in under an hour this year, following Lukas Rosol's victory in Irving (d. Johnson) and Ilija Bozoljac's win in Kolkata (d. Donskoy). The 29-year-old Romanian claimed his eighth title on the circuit and first in 14 months, since winning on home soil in Arad. Ungur moves to No. 13 on the all-time match wins list with his 240th victory.

Advantage Cars Prague Open (Prague, Czech Republic): Diego Schwartzman won his third ATP Challenger Tour title with a 6-4, 7-5 win over 32-year-old Brazilian Andre Ghem in Prague. The top seed will ascend to a career-high World No. 81 in the Emirates ATP Rankings. Schwartzman also moves into fourth place on the 2014 Challenger match-wins list, with 27 victories. Only Gilles Muller (45), Blaz Rola (28) and Alexander Kudryavtsev (28) have won more.

UngurWhat the Players are Saying

Ungur (pictured left, photo credit: Ercole Giardi): "I'm obviously very happy. After the first two matches I was able to find my game and get to the final in both singles and doubles. After I lost the doubles final I found redemption (in singles). Winning here, in San Marino, in front of so many fans is beautiful. I felt at home."

Veic: "I have to congratulate an opponent who did not give me the chance to play my tennis and affected my performance. Adrian was really strong, not just this evening but throughout the week."

Baghdatis: "Like the matches before, I kept very strong mentally and I pushed my limit and found a way to win. It’s been a long run the last 2 or three years with injuries…winning last week and this week..it’s a good sign.

"I focused on what I know to do and not try to do something I don’t do in practice or change my mind, my game, my plan because of an opponent. I’ve been working on the game I am supposed to play without doing anything more or doing anything big." 

Kukushkin: "I knew it was going to be tough. Marcos is a good player. He was a tough opponent. Unfortunately it didn't work out today, but I gave it a good try."

WHAT'S AHEAD
Defending champion Jan Hajek returns to Meerbusch, Germany, for the second edition of the Maserati Challenger by Landsknecht. Last year's runner-up Jesse Huta Galung is seeded sixth, while World No. 93 Albert Ramos-Vinolas leads the field.
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Paolo Lorenzi, champion in 2012, is the top seed at the Internazionali di Tennis del Friuli Venezia Giulia, in Cordenons, Italy. Daniel Gimeno-Traver, runner-up to Lorenzi in '12 and titlist in 2004, is seeded second and 2011 champ Daniel Munoz-de la Nava is also in the draw. Italian veteran Filippo Volandri, seeded fourth, won here in 2008.
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