Maximilian Marterer and Jordan Thompson steal the show on Challenger Tour


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Maximilian Marterer and Jordan Thompson steal the show on Challenger Tour

* Chennai, India, $50,000+H (Outdoor Hard) : Jordan Thompson claimed his fifth Challenger title and the first since Traralgon 2016 (he lost three finals in between) after a hard-fought 7-5 3-6 7-5 win over the second seed Yuki Bhambri in 2 hours and 37 minutes, saving a match point in the 10th game of the final set. It was a grueling battle with 31 break points in total and Yuki actually won one point more than his rival thanks to that second set.

He had no less than 18 break opportunities but could convert only eight, and he was also broken eight times from 13 chances he offered to Thompson. The match started with three consecutive breaks and Yuki gained a 3-1 lead before Jordan broke back in game six after a poor forehand from the Indian.

They served better in the following games before the Aussie broke at 15 in game 12 to clinch the opener 7-5. They traded breaks early in set two to be locked up at 2-2 and Bhambri moved ahead with another one in game five to gain the momentum.

A forehand winner in game nine gave him the third break and the set, looking good to prevail in the decider and claim the title in front of the home fans. The third set saw loose service games on both sides and seven breaks in total and Jordan grabbed four to prevail in a tight finish.

He stole Bhambri's serve twice at the beginning for a 3-0 lead but Yuki dug deep to erase the deficit and level the score at 3-3. Two more breaks of serve followed and Thompson saved a match point in game 10 with a backhand down the line winner, one of his most important shots of the match.

That gave him the edge and he won four points in a row on the return in game 11 to move 6-5 ahead, serving for the match in the following game. He held at 15 to bring the match home after a backhand error from Bhambri, returning to Top 100 after spending three weeks out from that group.

* Cherbourg, France, €43,000+H (Indoor Hard) : An in-form German Maximilian Marterer claimed four ATP wins in Melbourne and Sofia earlier this season and he continued his good in Cherbourg, claiming his sixth Challenger title after a 6-4 7-5 win over Constant Lestienne in an hour and 21 minutes. Marterer defended his second serve better and he saved two out of three break points to limit the damage in his games and he won 44% of the return points to score three breaks from five opportunities.

The Frenchman was off to a worst possible start, sending a backhand long in the opening game to drop his serve, and that put a lot of pressure on him. Maximilian fired a service winner to fend off a break point in game eight and he closed the set with another unreturnable serve in game 10 for a 6-4.

Lestienne saved a break point at the start of the second set and he broke in game six to move 4-2 ahead when Marterer sprayed a forehand long. The German got the break back in the very next game and he was the dominant figure in the remaining games, winning 12 out of the last 13 points to wrap up the title in straight sets.

He broke at love in game 11 with a forehand winner and the match was in his hands when he fired an ace a few minutes later to grab the set 7-5 and celebrate his sixth title of this level. Final results:

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