Challenger round up: Jerzy Janowicz back in form with title in Bergamo - UBITENNIS
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ATP Challenger

Challenger round up: Jerzy Janowicz back in form with title in Bergamo



Janowicz took Marin Cilic to five sets at the Australian Open, and now looks consistent at Challenger level after winning in Bergamo (

Remember the tall Polish player who nearly beat Andy Murray in the 2013 Wimbledon semi-finals, the guy who was serving aces left and right as he cut a path through the draw? Well that guy, Jerzy Janowicz, has begun to re-emerge from a abyss of commitment and injury issues by taking the Challenger title in Bergamo this week.

Bergamo Challenger: Jerzy Janowicz defeats Quentin Halys 64 64. Janowicz completed a great week by defeating seventh seed Quentin Halys in straight sets in a final dominated unsurprisingly by serve. The Pole broke just once in each set, as Halys broke down twice late in both sets. Janowicz had defeated Maximillian Marterer, Mirza Basic, Egor Gerasimov, and Filip Krajinovic to make the final.

It was also a good week for Krajinovic, as the Serbian, once a member of the Top 100, reached the semi-finals of a Challenger event for the first time in 2017. Top seed Andreas Seppi had suffered a disastrous first round loss to Yannick Hanfmann.

Morelos Challenger: Alexander Bublik defeats Nicolas Jarry 76 64. Alexander Bublik borught himself to the wider attention of the tennis community when he qualified and reached the second round of the Australian Open, defeating sixteenth seed Lucas Pouille in the process. The Kazakhstani, the third seed in the event, took advantage of early losses for Jordan Thompson and Teymuraz Gabashvili, surviving tough matches in his opening two rounds before not dropping a set from the quarter-finals onwards against Alejandro Gomez, Eduardo Struvay, and Nicolas Jarry.

Kyoto Challenger: Yasutaka Uchiyama defeats Blaz Kavcic 63 64.  The city that gave name to a famous protocol was host to a Challenger event last week, and it was a local who became a hero to the Japanese people. Yasutaka Uchiyama upset sixth seed Blaz Kavcic in straight sets, earning his first career Challenger title in Singles.

Uchiyama, unseeded at the event, defeated fourth seed Zhe Zhang, and second seed Grega Zemlja, before dispatching Kavcic in the final.

Young South African qualifier Lloyd Harris made headlines by reaching the semi-finals, defeating top seed Yuichi Sugita in the quarters.

There are two Challenger events this week, as the tour moves to Wroclaw, Poland. There is also a second Japanese Challenger, as the city that played host to the 2002 FIFA World Cup final, (Yokohama) hosts a Challenger event

ATP Challenger

Dominic Thiem To Return At Marbella Challenger, Joins Wawrinka In Stacked Field

Dominic Thiem will be joining Stan Wawrinka in making his return to action at the Marbella challenger next week.



Stan Wawrinka and Dominic Thiem (@SK_Tennis - Twitter)

Dominic Thiem will finally make his return to the ATP tour at the Marbella challenger next week.

The Austrian hasn’t played a tennis match since retiring at the grass court event in Mallorca last June due to a wrist injury.

Despite being scheduled to play at the Australian Open and at the Indian Wells-Miami swing, Thiem had to postpone his return as he wasn’t quite ready to compete in matches.

However now Thiem has decided to return as he will begin his clay court swing next week at the Marbella Challenger.

The former Roland Garros finalist took to Instagram to announce the news as he looks to climb back up the rankings.

The world number 50 will face tough competition with former Roland Garros champion Stan Wawrinka also making his comeback at the event in Spain next week.

At the blockbuster event there will also be the likes of Holger Rune, Pablo Cuevas, Jaume Munar and Lucas Pouille competing.

The winner of the event will receive 125 ranking points but much more importantly for Thiem and Wawrinka much needed match practice ahead of a busy European clay-court swing.

Thiem will be the top seed while Wawrinka will be unseeded with their being a possibility of the two heavyweights meeting in the opening round.

Play will start on Monday with Jaume Munar being the defending champion.

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ATP Challenger

Roberto Bautista Agut reaches his second career final in Doha



Roberto Bautista Agut reached the second final of his career at the Qatar Exxon Mobil with a 6-3 6-3 win over defending champion Andrey Rublev. 

Bautista Agut broke serve in the fourth game with a forehand winner to open up a 3-1 lead and held on his next service games to close out the first set 6-3 after 29 minutes. 

The Spaniard started the second set with an early break. Rublev broke straight back in the second game and won his next two service games to take a 3-2 lead. Bautista Agut saved two break points to hold serve before getting two consecutive breaks to claim the second set 6-3. 

Rublev was playing his first match this week after two walkovers. The Russian player claimed the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam last week. 

“It was very difficult to play tennis today, with the windy conditions, but I put a lot of pressure on his second serve and played really good tennis. I played a long match yesterday against Dominic Thiem, but I felt fresh and I had a lot of power on the court. This is one of my favourite tournaments. I played one of my best matches here in Qatar two years ago, and I hope I can win one more match tomorrow”, said Bautista Agut.

Bautista Agut set up a final against Nikoloz Basilashvili, who beat Taylor Fritz 7-6 (7-3) 6-1. 

Basilashvili, who beat Roger Federer in the quarter final, rallied from one break down to win the tie-break of the first set 7-3. The Georgian player broke twice in the second and sixth games to close out the second set 6-1.  “To reach the final means a lot. I am playing well and I am relaxed. It’s great to play in front of a crowd and a nice atmosphere”, said Basilshvili. 

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ATP Challenger

Andy Murray defeated in the final of the Biella Challenger

The former world number was runner-up to the Ukrainian Ilya Marchenko. Both will feature in next week’s event in the same location




Andy Murray - ATP Challenger Biella 2021 (Credit: Felice Calabrò)

Andy Murray suffered a surprising defeat in the final of this week’s tournament in Biella. Playing his second Challenger event in 16 years (the other one occurred in Mallorca in 2019 when, limping on a battered hip, he lost against Matteo Viola in the eighth of finals). Before today’s runner-up finish, he had played twice against his opponent, Illya Marchenko from Ukraine (N.212 in the ATP Rankings), both times at the Australian Open, in 2011 and 2017 respectively, winning both times.

But it was the Ukrainian who got off to a flying start, while the Scotsman looked a bit cumbersome and immediately lost his serve, giving a nice boost of confidence to his opponent, who broke his serve once more in the fifth game, taking a 4-1 lead. Murray couldn’t control his changes of pace, while Marchenko was pretty much spotless. The 6-2 score in his favour was the logical consequence, as confirmed by the numbers, which saw him win 83% of points on his first serve (against a meagre 53% for Murray), with no break points allowed.

In the first game of the second set, Marchenko immediately leapt ahead, breaking the Brit’s serve and even earning a chance for a 3-0 lead. Murray managed to stay close and started to play in a more conservative way, with great humility, in an attempt to reduce the number of unforced errors. Murray saved a match point at 3-5 with his second serve, exploiting Marchenko’s clumsiness with the backhand, but couldn’t do the same on the return, conceding defeat at the third match point. must defend with the second. Luckily for him, Marchenko is a bit clumsy in his preparation steps and puts up a not particularly difficult backhand. The former world number one will try to exact revenge in the same location starting tomorrow, as a Challenger 125 will take place once more in Biella, with players like Lorenzo Musetti (the seventh seed), Alejandro Davidovich Fokina (ATP N.54) and Sebastian Korda (N.88).

Report by Massimo Gaiba; edited by Tommaso Villa

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