Edmund Wins In Binghamton, Basilashvili Saves 3 MP
A LOOK BACK
Leven Gouldin & Thompson Tennis Challenger (Binghamton, U.S.A.): Two of the top performers on the ATP Challenger Tour this year squared off for the Binghamton title, as both top seed Kyle Edmund (24-7 in 2015) and second seed Bjorn Fratangelo (27-14) were in search of their second title. On the 10-year anniversary of countryman Andy Murray’s title, the 20-year-old Brit would come out on top 6-2, 6-3 in 66 minutes, firing seven aces while not facing a break point. At World No. 103 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, Edmund inched closer to cracking the Top 100 for the first time. Earlier this year, he captured his maiden title in Hong Kong (d. Ito).
“These tournaments have very good (Emirates ATP Rankings) points and you’re able to make those jumps if you do well,” Edmund told USTA broadcaster Mike Cation following the match. “For me personally, I hadn’t played a lot of matches recently because I was injured. So it was more trying to get matches under my belt before a long summer tour. We’ve been working on my game on court and each day it’s getting better and better. Today it just clicked. I played great and happy I won it.
“You want to be at the (ATP World Tour) level, but these guys are good. Anyone can be anyone any day. It’s a credit to how close the players are in each level.”
In search of more hard-court matches, Edmund says he will play the ATP World Tour 500 event in Washington, D.C., before trekking to the west coast for the ATP Challenger Tour tournaments in Aptos and Vancouver.
National Bank Granby Challenger (Granby, Canada): At the $100,000 event in Granby, 29-year-old Frenchman Vincent Millot won the title, defeating home hope Philip Bester 6-4, 6-4, but it was 14-year-old Canadian Felix Auger Aliassime who stole the show. The teen, who, earlier this year became the first player born in the 2000s to earn a spot in the Emirates ATP Rankings, made even more history in reaching the quarter-finals as a qualifier. Auger Aliassime became the youngest player to ever crack the Top 800, rising to No. 749. His QF defeat to fourth seed Yoshihito Nishioka signaled his first on the Challenger circuit, following a 7-0 run in qualifying and main draw combined.
Sport 1 Open (Scheveningen, The Netherlands): Last year, David Goffin kicked off a 20-match win streak on the ATP Challenger Tour with a title run on the clay of Scheveningen. Nikoloz Basilashvili will hope to find similar fortunes after capturing the 2015 edition. The 23 year old claimed his third title and second of the year, saving three match points en route to upending seventh seed Andrey Kuznetsov 6-7(3), 7-6(4), 6-3 in two hours and 28 minutes. At a career-high World No. 90, Basilashvili became the second Georgian (Irakli Labadze) to break into the Top 100 of the Emirates ATP Rankings.
Aamulehti Tampere Open (Tampere, Finland): Top seed and two-time champion (2001-02) Jarkko Nieminen bid farewell to his home Tampere Open. The Fin, who is retiring after the 2015 season, fell to eventual champion Tristan Lamasine 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(4) in Saturday’s semi-finals. Lamasine, meanwhile, went on to claim his maiden ATP Challenger Tour crown with a 59-minute 6-3, 6-2 win over fourth seed Andre Ghem. The 22-year-old Frenchman defeated three of the top four seeds in hoisting the trophy, also upsetting No. 3 seed Jurgen Melzer in the first round.
Guzzini Challenger (Recanati, Italy): Top seed Ricardas Berankis was upset by unseeded Mirza Basic of Bosnia-Herzegovina in the final of the Guzzini Challenger, in Recanati. Basic prevailed 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(4) in two hours and seven minutes, claiming his maiden ATP Challenger Tour title. He is one of 15 first-time titlists on the circuit this year.
What the Players are Saying
Basilashvili: “Reaching the Top 100 means so much to me. That what you practised for your whole life. I won all my matches in three sets and my fighting spirit brought me the title. My win over Thiemo de Bakker in the semi-final was my highlight of the week.
“Last year I was in Scheveningen and I felt very welcome. It’s important to feel good at a tournament. The centre court of this tournament is one of the best in the world on the ATP Challenger Tour.”
Lamasine: "I had two Challenger semis last year. And I worked hard this year, and got a reward now. I felt good and played a good tournament. Now I will take a rest, and start to think about US Open, prepare for the hard courts."
Top seed Mikhail Kukushkin looks to win his second President’s Cup in Astana, having prevailed in 2011. He is joined by third seed and 2012 champ Evgeny Donskoy and rising Korean teen Duckhee Lee. Also on tap is the hard-court event in Lexington, U.S.A., where three-time finalist James Ward is seeded first. Ward finished runner-up in 2011 and ‘14, while hoisting the trophy in 2013 (d. Duckworth). 2003 titlist Frank Dancevic is unseeded. On the clay courts of Biella, Italy, Basilashvili is the top seed.