Viktor Galovic wins his first title, Krajinovic beats Stebe in Marburg- View: 2457 by Jovica Ilic
* Marburg, Germany, €43,000+H (Outdoor Clay) : The final of Marburg Challenger was a very important match for both Filip Krajinovic and Cedric-Marcel Stebe, two players who find a nice form in the recent months after struggling with injuries.
Krajinovic defeated German by 6-2 6-3 in just 76 minutes to grab his 6th Challenger crown, the second of the season, and this will burst his chances of reaching the Top 100 again. Serb served at 75%, which was very important when we know that Stebe struggled to find his initial shot, losing almost 60% of the points on his serve and getting broken on all 6 chances that Filip created! On the other hand, Krajinovic also had troubles on his second serve but he played well in the crucial moments, saving 6 out of 8 break points to reduce the damage in his games and to have a control over the scoreboard all the time.
In fact, Stebe kicked off the match in a stronger fashion, he converted his 5th break point in the second game to open up a 2-0 lead, only to lose the next 6 games and the set by 6-2! Filip was very strong on return, losing just 3 points in these 3 return games that he won, and he saved a break point to wrap up the set in that 8th game.
Serb carried his momentum into the second set as well, winning the first 2 games to increase his streak to 8 games in succession. Stebe broke back in game 4 to level the score at 2-2 but he was outplayed in the rest of the set, losing serve in games 5 and 9 to hand the title to his rival.
* Recanati, Italy, €43,000+H (Outdoor Hard) :
Viktor Galovic from Croatia scored his biggest career title up to date, beating the 5th seed and 2015 champion Mirza Basic 7-6 6-4 in 91 minutes for his maiden Challenger trophy. Ranked 491st, Viktor had to qualify for the main draw and he is the 6th different player who won the title from qualifications in 2017. This success is even bigger when we know that he won just 6 Challenger matches prior to Recanati, he played in the semis in Bergamo in 2013 on his debut but never repeated anything like that until now. Just like the whole week, Galovic served well, using the fast hard court to impose his game and make a lot of damage with his serve. He had 11 aces and fends off 3 out of 4 break points to keep the pressure on Basic, who had a lot of troubles on his second serve, which cost him the match in the end.
Bosnian had to play against 7 break points, he saved 5 of those but 2 breaks were enough to Galovic to seal the win in straight sets. Mirza was off to a better start, breaking at love in game 3 to create a 4-2 buffer, but Galovic pulled the break back in game 8 to level the score at 4-4. They served well in the final 4 games to set up a tie break, which Galovic won 7-3, with 3 mini-breaks on his tally. This gave him the drive to push even stronger in set number 2, and he broke Basic in the first game to have the match under his control. Basic had to save another 3 break points to somehow stay in touch, and the opportunity appeared for him in the last game of the match, when Viktor served for the win. Bosnian had 3 break points that could bring him back to the scoreboard, but Croat stayed calm to repel them and make a hold that sent him over the finish line.