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CHALLENGER TOUR

Roundup of this week's Challenger finals: 5th title for Duckworth, Schwartzman wins his 8th

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by Jovica Ilic

* Montevideo, Uruguay, $50,000+H (Outdoor Clay) : Argentine Diego Schwartzman has ended his season in style, winning his 8th Challenger crown in Montevideo for his career-best 52nd position on the ATP rankings list.

Diego needed only 75 minutes to dismiss Rogerio Dutra Silva from Brazil, by 6-4 6-1. This was their 7th meeting on Challenger Tour and the 4th win for the Argentine. Interestingly, they played in Barranquilla final in September, and Diego won that one with an identical score.

The most prominent shot in this final was Schwartzman's return, he pushed Dutra Silva to the limits on both the first and the second serve, winning 62% of the return points and scoring 6 breaks from 11 chances he created! On the other hand, Brazilian made 3 breaks from 4 opportunities, but that wasn't enough for some better result or closer encounter.

They opened the match with solid holds but after that, we saw 4 breaks of serve in the next 5 games, two on each side, and the result was tied at 4-4 after Rogerio saved another 3 break points in game 8. Still, Schwartzman found the way to break him in game 10, winning the opener 6-4, and everything was much easier for him after that.

Dutra Silva just faded from the court in set number 2, winning only 2 points on his serve in 3 games, and Schwartzman had no troubles to bring the match home, winning the set 6-1 in no time at all. Final result: [2/WC]Diego Schwartzman (ARG) vs [6]Rogerio Dutra Silva (BRA) 6-4 6-1 [1:15]
* Champaign, USA, $50,000 (Indoor Hard) : Henri Laaksonen claimed his 3rd Challenger trophy in Champaign, beating Ruben Bemelmans 7-5 6-3 in just 65 minutes, making it the fastest final of the week. Thus, Henri defended his title won 12 months ago, surviving a scare against Christopher Eubanks in the semis and having an easier job against Belgian in the title match.

Laaksonen's second serve made all the difference, he won 63% of the points after missing the first compared to just 47% from Bemelmans. Ruben had to play against 8 break points, he saved 5 but those 3 breaks from Laaksonen were enough to give him the victory, as he lost his serve only once.

Both players had their chances in the opening 8 games but there were no breaks of serve, and then we had 2 in a row. Bemelmans led 5-4 and served for the set, but he lost the next 3 games, including 2 breaks from Laaksonen who took the opener 7-5.

Only one loose service game in the second set was enough for Bemelmans to go 3-1 down, and there was no turning back for him from that situation, as Henri won the set 6-3 to defend his title. Final result: [2]Henri Laaksonen (SUI) vs [6]Ruben Bemelmans (BEL) 7-5 6-3[1:05] More results on the second page ALSO READ: ATP RANKINGS 21-11-2016: Andy Murray is the 17th year-end number 1 player! * Brescia, Italy, €42,500+H (Indoor Carpet) : Luca Vanni gave the home crowd something to cheer about in Brescia, saving a match point against the lucky loser Laurynas Grigelis in a 6-7 6-4 7-6 victory - The match lasted 2 hours and 53 minutes, which is a rather slow considering the encounter played on indoor carpet, but there were deuces in 13 games, and that fact affected the overall time spent on the court - It was a very close match, Vanni won just 3 points more and he saved a match point at 6-7 in the final tie break - Grigelis hit 22 aces and he played better on his first serve, but it was the second that betrayed him, winning just 37% of those points and giving 15 break chances to Vanni - He saved 13 of them, being broken only twice, and overall they both played great on break points, with just 3 breaks of serve from 26 chances! There were no breaks of serve in the opening set (they saved 6 break points in total) and the tie break was inevitable after 4 service games at love from 4-4 - The tie break was also close but it was Grigelis who won the final 2 points from 5-5 to take the opener - In the second set, Vanni saved all 5 break chances to win it 6-4, breaking Grigelis in game 5, keeping that lead until the end to force a decider - Servers lost their pace for a little bit in games 4 and 5, but after those two breaks, they managed to hold until in all games before the tie break, even though there were many deuces in the second part of the decider - Luca led 6-3 in the tie break but Grigelis bounced back to win the next 4 points and move just a point away from the victory - Vanni saved it and he finally brought the match home by 10-8 in the tie break for his 3rd Challenger title - Final result: Luca Vanni (ITA) vs [LL]Laurynas Grigelis (LTU) 6-7(5) 6-4 7-6(8) [2:53]
* Toyota, Japan, $50,000+H (Indoor Carpet) : Final result: [5]James Duckworth (AUS) vs [7]Tatsuma Ito (JPN) 7-5 4-6 6-1 [2:08] .

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