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CHALLENGER TOUR

Saturday's results in Challenger Tour: Marterer edge Benneteau, will face Bourgue in the final

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by Jovica Ilic

Cherbourg, France, €43,000+H (Indoor Hard) : Mathias Bourgue and Kenny De Schepper played a very interesting match in front of the home crowd and after 2 hours and 18 minutes, Bourgue prevailed by 4-6 7-6 6-3 for his 3rd Challenger final, the first since Anning last May. De Schepper had much better percentages behind his second serve, and he finished the match with 3 points more than Mathias, but he couldn't make that final push and send the encounter to his side.

They both scored 3 breaks, but it has to be said that Kenny had 11 opportunities against only 6 for Bourgue, but that didn't help him either. Older player served great in the opening set and he converted his 3rd break point to take Bourgue's serve in game 10 for a 6-4.

The second set started with back-to-back breaks and it was Bourgue who was more focused in the tie break, taking it 7-4 to remain in the match and force a decider. De Schepper was again closer to the finish line, with an early break in the final set, but Mathias won 6 out of the next 7 games, including 2 breaks in games 4 and 6, to seal the deal with a 6-3 and move to the title match.


Hard-hitting German Maximilian Marterer has already established himself as one of the best indoor players among the youngsters, and he will play in his 4th Challenger final (interestingly, the first outside the clay) after a hard-fought 6-4 6-7 7-6 victory over Julien Benneteau in 2 hours and 24 minutes. Marterer hit 23 aces, he won 80% of the points on his serve and saved only 2 break points he faced, but Benneteau did his best to stay in touch until the very end, fending off 9 out of 10 break points to endure for so long, even though German outplayed him.

Maximilian was off to a perfect start, taking his rival's serve in game 3 (that will be the only break in the match) to win the opener 6-4, saving two break points in game 4 to sail through his service games until the end.

In the next 15 service games, Marterer was just too good on his serve, mixing free points directly from his initial shot with strong forehands to keep Julien far away from the break chances, or even a deuce on return. Nevertheless, Frenchman used all of his exeperience to save all 6 break points in the second set and two match points in the tie break to steal it by 9-7, sending the match into a deciding set.

This gave a huge momentum to the veteran and he played even better in the final set, having to save only on ebreak point before another tie break, but this time Max was more focused, taking it 7-5 to finally clinch the victory and advance to the final.

Semi-final results: Mathias Bourgue (FRA) vs Kenny De Schepper (FRA) 4-6 7-6(4) 6-3 [2:18]
Maximilian Marterer (GER) vs [3]Julien Benneteau (FRA) 6-4 6-7(7) 7-6(5) [2:24]
Tempe, USA, $75,000 (Outdoor Hard) : For the second day in a row, rain hasn't been the most favorite word in Tempe, disrupting the semi-final matches that are still not finished.

In the all-American affair, Dennis Novikov is battling Tennys Sandgren, while experienced Russian Teymuraz Gabashvili and young Serb Nikola Milojevic seek that second final spot. Semi-final results: [7]Dennis Novikov (USA) vs Tennys Sandgren (USA)
[6]Teymuraz Gabashvili (RUS) vs Nikola Milojevic (SRB) ALSO READ: ATP BUENOS AIRES: Impressive Dolgopolov beats Nishikori in straight sets to win his 3rd ATP crown .

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