Martin Completes Stunning Rally For Padova Title
A LOOK BACK
2001 Team Challenger – Città di Padova (Padova, Italy): Leading 6-0, 3-1 in the Padova final, Albert Montanes had one hand on his ninth ATP Challenger Tour trophy. Andrej Martin had other ideas. The Slovak reeled off five of the next six games to steal the second set and would recover once again after falling behind an early break in the third. In stunning fashion, he claimed the title in a final set tie-break after saving one match point. Martin captured his fifth Challenger crown 0-6, 6-4, 7-6(6), becoming the second player to save a match point in a final this year.
Former World No. 22 Montanes suffered his third defeat in three consecutive finals since early June, falling in a deciding tie-break to another Slovak, Norbert Gombos, in Prague, after losing to Taro Daniel in Furth.
2015 MATCH POINT SAVING TITLES
Marburg Open (Marburg, Germany): Memories of a three-match losing skid to open the 2015 season are a distant memory for Spain’s Inigo Cervantes. The 25 year old won his third ATP Challenger Tour title in two months, and fifth overall, needing just under two hours to rally past Nils Langer 2-6, 7-6(3), 6-3 on Saturday.
Cervantes joins Hyeon Chung and Teymuraz Gabashvili as three-time Challenger champions in 2015 and is now just two match wins behind Chung for the season-high (29). The Spaniard is a red-hot 24-4 since late April, when he won his first title in four years, on the clay of Ostrava. He is closing in on a first appearance in the Top 100 of the Emirates ATP Rankings after opening the year at No. 248 in the world.
What the Players are Saying
Martin: "It has been so long since I won and this was a magical week for me."
The ATP Challenger Tour returns to the United States for the 24th edition of the Nielsen Pro Tennis Championships in Winnetka, Illinois. Located just 20 miles north of Chicago, the tournament welcomes rising teens Frances Tiafoe and Stefan Kozlov, along with 2009 champion Alex Kuznetsov and top seed Tatsuma Ito.
Last year, the Sparkassen Open in Braunschweig, Germany, was one of two tournaments (Genova, Italy) presented with ATP Challenger of the Year honours. Boasting world-class hospitality and a fan-friendly environment, the event opens its doors for a 22nd time this week. Young gun Alexander Zverev won his maiden title in 2014 (d. Mathieu) and enters as the third seed with hopes of a successful defence. The only other German to triumph on home soil in Braunschweig was Florian Mayer, who prevailed in 2013 (d. Vesely). Mayer received a wild card into this year’s edition and opens against top seed Pablo Carreno Busta.
Also on tap is the clay-court stop in Todi, Italy, where top seed Aljaz Bedene looks to retain his crown. Dusan Lajovic is seeded second and Padova champ Andrej Martin eyes a second title in consecutive weeks.