Martin Klizan wins first title since 2012. Yasutaka Uchiyama claims crown


Martin Klizan wins first title since 2012. Yasutaka Uchiyama claims crown

* Indian Wells, USA, $150,000+H (Outdoor Hard) : 28-year-old Slovak Martin Klizan claimed his seventh Challenger crown and the first since San Marino in 2012 after a 6-3 6-3 win over Darian King in an hour and 9 minutes. A former Top 30 player served at only 49% and he got broken twice but that wasn't enough for King to gain a positive result, losing 57% of the points in his games and dropping serve five times to find himself on the losing side.

King was off to a solid start, breaking in game three to open up a 3-1 lead but Klizan restored the order once he found his forehand, winning the last five games for a 6-3, including breaks in games six and eight. They traded breaks in games five and six of set number two and it was Klizan who shifted into a higher gear from there, breaking Darian in games seven and nine to cross the finish line and clinch a much-needed title, the first on all levels since Hamburg 2016.

* Yokohama, Japan, $75,000 (Outdoor Hard) : In an all-Japanese battle at Yokohama, Yasutaka Uchiyama toppled the 7th seed Tatsuma Ito 2-6 6-3 6-4 in 2 hours to claim his second Challenger title following a success in Kyoto a year ago. It was a close battle and Uchiyama won just three points more than his rival, with three breaks on each side.

Ito had nine break chances but he couldn't convert enough to earn the win, as Uchiyama completed his win with a lone break in set number three. The better-ranked player cruised through the opening set with breaks in games one and three, serving well and closing the set with a hold at 15 in game eight for a 6-2.

He was on the winning trail after he broke again at the start of set number two but Uchiyama raised his level to make a turnaround, scoring breaks in games four and eight to move 5-3 in front and clinching the set on own serve in game nine after saving a break point.

Uchiyama saved three break points he faced in the second game of the decider and that gave him the momentum for the rest of the match, breaking Ito in the following game to earn the lead and keeping it throughout the set, clinching the title with a hold at love in game 10.

* Punta del Este, Uruguay, $50,000+H (Outdoor Clay) : Guido Andreozzi will be remembered as the first champion of Punta del Este, ousting Simone Bolelli 3-6 6-4 6-3 in a grueling 2 hours and 43 minutes for his fifth Challenger title, the first since Vicenza in May 2016. The Argentine had numerous chances to close the match earlier but he managed to convert only two from 20 break points he created, which kept Bolelli in contention until he got broken in game four of the decider.

Guido played well behind his serve, facing just three break points, and he emerged as a deserved winner in the end. Simone was all in all kind of troubles right from the start, saving seven break points in the opening game and three more in the rest of the set to somehow kept his serve intact.

Andreozzi lost his serve in the second game and he couldn't pull it back by the end of the set, dropping the opener 6-3. The second set was quick and fluid and there were no break points in the first seven games. Bolelli saved a break point in game eight but he lost serve in game 10 after wasting a game point and allowing Andreozzi to send the match into a decider.

With the momentum on his side, Guido broke in the fourth game to move 3-1 ahead and he could seal the deal in game six when he had six more break chances. Bolelli saved them and he made one extra push on the return in order to prolong the match, creating a break point in game nine before Andreozzi closed the match on his fourth match point to claim the title. Final results:


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Martin Klizan Yasutaka Uchiyama Guido Andreozzi