Marco Cecchinato wins Challenger on home soil in Rome
Italian Marco Cecchinato has won his first Challenger title in almost a year. The former World No. 82 defeated the unseeded Jozef Kovalik 6-4, 6-4 in the Rome final.
The win is the culmination of a strong run of form for the Italian. He has reached the quarter-finals or better in his last five events. He was also a runner-up in the Ostrava Challenger last week.
Cecchinato edged a close first set, earning the only break of serve. Kovalik was unable to create a single break point in the set. The second feature five breaks as Kovalik found his return game. Cecchinato was on the right side of the five breaks though, three to Kovalik’s two.
Cecchinato had an imperious week, winning the title without dropping a set. His run began with a surprise win over second seed Nicolas Kicker in the first round. Wins over Nicolas Jarry and Gianluigi Quinzi followed, before defeating Yannick Maden in the semi-finals. It is his first Challenger title since he acquitted of match-fixing charges in December last year.
Kovalik started the week strongly, defeating Jan Satral and Lorenzo Giustino in straight sets. He came from behind to defeat young Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas in the quarter-finals. He also dropped the first set to Kimmer Coppejans before prevailing in the semi-finals.
Cecchinato will move to no.105 in the rankings and Kovalik is up to No.153. Cecchinato will feature in the Heilbronn Challenger next week. He is unseeded and starts against Canada’s Denis Shapovalov. Kovalik starts against Alexander Bublik.
Tournament Information: Rome Challenger: Prize Money 9,200. Winner earns 90 ATP points.
- Young Greek star Stefanos Tsitsipas defeated top seed Jiri Vesely in the second round. Tsitsipas moves to a career-high ranking of No.191.