Kozlov wins Las Vegas. Titles for Youzhny, Hanfmann and Delbonis as well

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Kozlov wins Las Vegas. Titles for Youzhny, Hanfmann and Delbonis as well

* Ningbo, China, $125,000 (Outdoor Hard) : 35-year-old Russian Mikhail Youzhny claimed his 6th Challenger title after a dominant 6-1 6-1 triumph over Taro Daniel in 73 minutes. Youzhny served better and he also had the edge from the baseline, imposing his game and keeping his rival under the pressure all the time.

He saved all 4 break points he faced and won almost 60% of the return points, creating 12 break points and converting 5 to stay in front all the time. Daniel saved 3 break points in the opening game and he had those 4 break chances in the second game, but he couldn't convert any of them.

Mikhail sailed through his service games until the end of the match and he won the last 6 games of the opener, breaking Daniel thrice for a commanding 6-1. The Japanese managed to save 3 break points at the start of the second set but that was all we saw from him.

Youzhny won 20 out of the last 27 points of the match, breaking his rival in games 4 and 6 and wrapping up the victory on own serve in game 7 for his first title since Manila in January 2016. * Cali, Colombia, $50,000+H (Outdoor Clay) : Playing in only his third tournament after reaching the semi-final in Hamburg, Federico Delbonis prevailed against Guilherme Clezar by 7-6 7-5 in an hour and 58 minutes to lift his 9th Challenger crown and the second of the season. Delbonis served at 68% and he fired 11 aces, losing his serve twice from 3 chances he offered to Clezar.

Brazilian lost 40% of the points in his games but he did a good job in fending off 5 out of 8 break points, staying in touch with his rival all the time. Federico was off to a better start, breaking in game 2 and opening a 4-1 gap.

Clezar couldn't find his range and he faced additional 4 break points in game 6, saving all of them to at least gain some momentum. He broke back in game 7 and he was on the same level with Federico in the rest of the set, setting up a tie break.

The Argentine was 6-3 in front and he wasted 4 set points before Guilherme earned his first one at 8-7. They stayed neck and neck after 9 straight points won on serve and it was Delbonis who finally scored another mini-break in the 22nd point to close the set on his 6th set point! Just like in the opener, Delbonis moved in front early in the second set and he looked good to bring the match home from 4-2 up.

Instead of that, Clezar won 3 games in a row, breaking back in game 8, but that was all he could do. Federico won 12 out of the last 14 points, stealing rival's serve at love in game 11 to serve for the match, delivering a title with a hold at 15 a few minutes later.

* Las Vegas, USA, $50,000+H (Outdoor Hard) : 19-year-old Stefan Kozlov claimed his second Challenger crown in Las Vegas, ousting Liam Broady by 3-6 7-5 6-4 in 2 hours and 18 minutes.

Stefan faced 6 break points and he got broken 5 times, which wasn't the good sign, but he worked hard to compensate that in the return games, winning 45% of the return points and creating 16 break opportunities.

He broke Broady 6 times to emerge as a winner in a seesaw final set. The first set was competitive and Broady grabbed it with a break at love in the second game, which was enough for a 6-3. He moved in front in set number 2 as well after breaking Stefan in game 5 but the youngster broke back immediately, leveling the score at 3-3.

He was the better player on the court until the end of the set, missing 4 set points on the return in game 10 but closing the job with a break in the 12th game, sending the match into a decider. There, they traded breaks 3 times and Kozlov wasted 2 match points on serve in game 9, only to break his rival again in the following game to cross the finish line first.

* Ismaning, Germany, $43,000+H (Indoor Carpet) : Yannick Hanfmann won his maiden Challenger crown at the inaugural Ismaning event, defeating in-form Italian Lorenzo Sonego by 6-4 3-6 7-5 in an hour and 58 minutes. Sonego fired 17 aces and he finished the match with 1 point more than the German, but it wasn't enough to win the second title in 2 weeks.

Yannick faced 5 break points and he handed his serve 3 times, while Sonego had to dig deep to stay in touch with him, playing against 11 break points and saving 7. Hanfmann was the dominant figure on his serve in the opening set and he clinched it with a break in the first game.

Players traded breaks at the start of the second set and this time it was Sonego who managed to be more dangerous on the return, breaking again in game 8 and winning 12 out of the last 15 points to bring the set home by 6-3 and force a decider.

The momentum was on his side and he rattled off 12 points in a row to open up a 3-1 gap, moving closer to another indoor title. He was on a verge of a triumph when he created another break point in game 7 but Hanfmann saved it and that kept him alive.

Italian wasted 4 game points in game 8 and Yannick found the way to break him, leveling the score at 4-4, pushing strong on the return in game 10 as well. Sonego was forced to save 2 match points but he failed to do the same in game 12 when Hanfmann sealed the deal with a break.

Final results:



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