* Taipei, Taiwan, $150,000+H (Indoor Carpet) : 2009 Australian Open junior champion Yuki Bhambri has been considered as one of the most talented players of his generation, but also among of the most unfortunate ones, having to deal with numerous injuries during his young career that plagued his chances of reaching some notable results on the Tour.
It is so far so good for the Indian in 2018, scoring four ATP wins and winning Taipei Challenger last week to conquer the 83rd position in the ATP rankings, his best ever. In an all-Indian final, Yuki took down Ramkumar Ramanathan 6-3 6-4 in an hour and 29 minutes for his seventh Challenger crown, serving at 80% and facing just two break points. Ramkumar managed to break him once but that wasn't enough for the better result, struggling to find the first serve and getting broken three times from six opportunities he gave to Yuki.
The first set was decided in the middle games, with two breaks of serve for Bhambri in games four and six and one for Ramkumar in between. The more experienced Indian closed the set with a hold at love in game nine and it was a tight battle in the following set, with no break points in the first eight games.
Yuki made a deciding move with a break in the ninth game, sealing the deal with another solid holds a few minutes later to grab the title, the first since Pune in November. * Mexico City, Mexico, $100,000+H (Outdoor Clay) : The Argentinian qualifier Juan Ignacio Londero has won his first Challenger title after a commanding 6-1 6-3 triumph over Roberto Quiroz in just 51 minutes. Both players served above 70% but Londero drew the most from it, losing eight points in eight service games and stealing almost 50% of the return points to control the scoreboard all the time.
Quiroz was unable to impose his shots and he made too many mistakes, dropping serve four times from five break points he offered to Juan Ignacio to end on the losing side and miss a chance to lift the trophy. Londero needed just over 20 minutes to wrap up the opening set with breaks in games two and four, racing into a 5-0 lead and closing the set with a hold at love in game seven.
The second set was more competitive but Juan Ignacio was the dominant figure, sailing through his service games and scoring breaks in games five and nine to seal the deal in style and take his biggest title up to date. * Barletta, Italy, €43,000+H (Outdoor Clay) : In by far the longest final of the week, a qualifier Marco Trungelliti has won his first Challenger title after a hard-fought 2-6 7-6 6-4 win over Simone Bolelli in 2 hours and 33 minutes. Marco had to win eight matches to claim the title, including five Italians, and he came from a set and a break down to overcome the deficit and edge Bolelli with a late break in the final set.
Thanks to that opening set, Simone won five points more than his rival but it wasn't enough for him to earn the win, scoring just one break of serve in sets two and three after a strong start he made in the first part of the match.
Trungelliti needed some time to find his shots, suffering three straight breaks to lose the first set 6-2, and Bolelli moved closer to the finish line with a break at 15 in the seventh game of set number two. The Argentinian got the break back in the following game and that kept him in contention, as they both served well in the next four games to set up a tie break.
Simone was three points away from the win but it was Trungelliti who won the last three points at 4-4 to steal the set and send the match into a decider. There, he saved two break points in games six and eight and he grabbed the pivotal break in game nine, clinching the win with another solid hold a few minutes later for his first title at this level.