Roundup of this week´s Challenger finals: Mischa Zverev wins first title in 9 years!



by JOVICA ILIC

Roundup of this week´s Challenger finals: Mischa Zverev wins first title in 9 years!

Sarasota, USA, $100,000 (Outdoor Clay) : The career of the Mischa Zverev was going to a right direction in his young years, winning no less than 4 Challenger titles still as a U20 player. Instead of more success on higher ATP level, everything went wrong for the German, and he needed to wait almost 9 years before he finally claimed another Challenger title in Sarasota! After Dnepropetrovsk in November 2007, he lost 5 finals in a row until this one where he toppled 3rd seed Gerald Melzer by 6-4 7-6.

With those points Mischa moves to a 131st place in the ATP rankings, his best position since September 2011, and it has to be said that he was 650th just 12 months ago. This was his 5th Challenger title overall, and if he continues to play like this return to the Top 100 is not out of reach.

The result was going back and forth in the first set, but Melzer's serve was in bigger danger, saving 6 break points in game 5 to stay in touch. Zverev broke first twice but couldn't keep it, as Gerald was bouncing back every time.

Still, German made a decisive break in the game 9, finishing the set on own serve after that to take it 6-4. They've reached 3-3 in the second set before returners get their chances. After exchanged breaks in games 7 and 8 set went into an interesting closure, with Melzer saving 4 break points in game 9 to stay in front.

Zverev broke him in game 11 to serve for the title but couldn't hold his nerves, losing his serve too and setting a tie break. He won it 7-2, finishing the match with 5 straight points. Final result: Mischa Zverev (GER) vs [3]Gerald Melzer (AUT) 6-4 7-6(2)
Barletta, Italy, €42,500+H (Outdoor Clay) : After winning his maiden Challenger title in Caltanissetta in June 2015, it has been mostly a bumpy road for promising Elias Ymer, not able to win bigger points or to join some wins in a succession.

That all changed this weekend in Barletta (Italy has obviously been a lucky ground for him) as he was his second Challenger title, losing only one set. In the high-quality final match, Elias defeated Adam Pavlasek 7-5 6-4, breaking him once in each set.

Interestingly, it was Pavlasek who started better, creating 3 break points in game 3 but Swedish player fends them off and never faced another one until the end of the match, playing very solid in his games. He prevailed in the most important points, avoiding tie breaks by that.

Pavlasek lost his serve for the first time in game 12, handling the first set to his rival, and again in the 10th game of the second set which was all Elias needed to wraps up the match. Final result: [8]Elias Ymer (SWE) vs [3]Adam Pavlasek (CZE) 7-5 6-4
Gwangju, South Korea, $50,000 +H (Outdoor Hard) : Final result: [1]Ricardas Berankis (LTU) vs [6]Grega Zemlja (SLO) 6-3 6-2 ALSO READ: ATP BARCELONA & BUCHAREST: Good start for Zverev, Khachanov saves match point against Bedene

Mischa Zverev Elias Ymer