Millman tops Tomic in France. Titles for Nishioka, Gerasimov and Pavlasek


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Millman tops Tomic in France. Titles for Nishioka, Gerasimov and Pavlasek

* Aix en Provence, France, €127,000+H (Outdoor Clay) : Two weeks after playing in his maiden ATP final in Budapest, John Millman has won a strong Challenger in Aix en Provence, his 11th from 17 finals and the second of the season.

Officially, it will go down to his records list as a clay title but the final had to be moved indoors due to a bad weather and John eases past Bernard Tomic 6-1 6-2 in 48 minutes to claim the trophy. John served at 74% and he fired nine aces, losing nine points in eight service games and never facing a break point.

Tomic was nowhere near those numbers, dropping more than 50% of the points in his games and getting broken four times from 10 chances he offered to John. Millman needed less than 20 minutes to bring the first set home with breaks in games fou and six, and he broke Bernard twice in set number two as well to seal the deal and claim the title.

* Karshi, Uzbekistan, $75,000+H (Outdoor Hard) : 25-year-old Egor Gerasimov has claimed his fifth Challenger title and the first since Astana last July after a 7-6 2-0 win over the fellow Belarusian Sergey Betov in 54 minutes. Betov, who qualified for the main draw, had to retire after that second game of the second set despite a brave effort in the opening set when he didn't face a break point.

It was a fast and fluid set with only one break point that Gerasimov saved in game seven, and he won the tie break 7-3 to gain the lead. Betov lost his serve at the start of the second set and he had to end his final campaign when Egor held at love in game two.

* Rome, Italy, €64,000+H (Outdoor Clay) : In by far the longest final of the week, Adam Pavalsek won his fourth Challenger title after a hard-fought 7-6 6-7 6-4 win over the 2nd seed Laslo Djere in 2 hours and 49 minutes! It was a very close match with just five breaks of serve overall and Adam grabbed the win with one solid return game in the final set.

The Czech was 3-1 up when he broke in the third game of the match but Laslo claimed the next four games to open up a 5-3 lead, serving for the opener in the following game. He wasted two set points before Pavlasek broke back, reducing his deficit to 5-4 and building the momentum before the tie break that he won 7-1.

There were no breaks of serve in set number two and it was Djere who had to dig deep in order to prevail and set up a decider, saving three match points before winning the tie break 11-9 to hang in there and stay on the title course.

Nonetheless, Adam kept his focus and he scored a break in the third game of the deciding set to forge a lead, saving two break points at 4-3 to stay in front and he closed the match with a hold at love in game 10 to lift the trophy.

* Gimcheon, South Korea, $50,000+H (Outdoor Hard) : A former Top 60 player Yoshihito Nishioka had to miss the most of 2017 due to an injury and he is slowly making his comeback to where he belongs.

He had to qualify for the main draw in Gimcheon but that didn't stop him to go all the way, ousting the 2nd seed Vasek Pospisil 6-4 7-5 in an hour and 39 minutes for his fifth Challenger crown and the first since Astana 2016. Vasek served at only 53% and Nishioka took full advantage of that, scoring four breaks from nine opportunities (he had seven break points in the opening set) and giving his serve away twice to seal the deal in straight sets.

Pospisil struggled to find the rhythm early on, losing serve in games one and seven before pulling one break back to reduce the deficit to 5-3. Yoshihito held at 15 in game 10 to bring the opening set home and he opened a 3-1 advantage in set number two before Vasek bounced back to win three games in a row and get back into contention.

Nonetheless, he got broken in game 11 and the Japanese crossed the finish line with a hold at love a few minutes later for a much-needed win and a big step forward on his comeback trail. Final results:

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