Lestienne downs Baghdatis. Lajovic and Kudla to meet in Le Gosier


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Lestienne downs Baghdatis. Lajovic and Kudla to meet in Le Gosier

* Le Gosier, Guadeloupe, €85,000+H (Outdoor Hard) : Dusan Lajovic has dropped out from the Top 100 for the first time in a year and he decided to step down to the Challenger level for the first time since July when he won the title in Bastad, performing as the third seed in Le Gosier.

The Serb advanced to his seventh final and will seek his 100th win at this level after a 6-2 6-2 win over Christian Garin in 53 minutes. Lajovic lost just 10 points on serve and he saved both break points he faced in the second game of set number two to keep the pressure on the other side of the net.

Garin struggled to find the pace on his second serve and he had to play against nine break points, losing serve four times to end his run in the semis. Dusan was off to a great start, losing three points on serve in the opening set and scoring breaks in games one and five to grab the opener 6-2.

Garin made the only push on the return at the start of the second game but Lajovic fends off a couple of break points in game two to keep his serve intact. From 2-1 down, Dusan rattled off five games in a row and he broke Christian in games five and seven to close the match on own serve with a hold at love at 5-2.

Denis Kudla booked the place in his 13th Challenger final and the second in the last three weeks after a 6-2 7-6 triumph over Ruben Bemelmans in an hour and 13 minutes. The American served at 71% and he saved four out of five break points to limit the damage in his games and switch the tension to the other side of the net.

It was all about Kudla in the opening set, sailing through his service games and breaking Ruben in games one and seven to clinch the opener 6-2. They traded breaks at the start of the second set and Bemelmans played well before the tie break, keeping his service games safe and creating four break points in game eight.

Denis saved them all and those were the last chances for the returners before the tie break where he opened up a 4-1 lead. Bemelmans won the next four points to create a 5-4 gap and he had a set point at 6-5 after a mini-break.

Kudla remained focused and he grabbed the next two points on the return to earn a match point at 7-6 and he closed the match with a service winner. * San Luis Potosi, Mexico, $50,000+H (Outdoor Clay) : World number 421 Roberto Cid Subervi came to San Luis Potosi with just one Challenger win and he had to qualify just to enter the main draw Now, he will play in his biggest final so far in a career after a 6-3 6-3 win over another qualifier Pedro Sakamoto in an hour and 28 minutes. Cid Subervi was off to a better start in both sets and he managed to close them in order to reach the title match in style, saving three out of five break points and winning 53% of the return points to steal rival's serve on five occasions from six opportunities he created.

Roberto built a 5-2 gap with breaks of serve in games one and seven but he wasted four set points on serve in game eight before Sakamoto pulled one break back to reduce the deficit to 5-3. The Brazilian lost serve again in the ninth game to hand the set to his opponent and he had to raise his level in set number two if he wanted to be more competitive.

That didn't happen as Cid Subervi scored breaks in games two and four to race into a 5-0 lead, serving for the match in game seven. Pedro pulled one break back to prolong the match and he saved a match point on serve in the eight game, forcing Cid Subervi to serve for the match.

A player from Santo Domingo held at 30 to seal the deal and reach the final, his first above the Futures level. Marcelo Arevalo from El Salvador has joined Cid Subervi in the final after a 4-6 6-4 6-3 win over Daniel Elahi Galan in just under 2 hours. This will be the fifth Challenger final for Arevalo who has lost the last four matches he played at this level prior to coming to Mexico.

Marceo served well on both the first and second serve and he faced three break points, losing serve twice. On the other hand, he created 10 break chances and claimed three breaks that were enough to propel him into the final.

Elahi Galan played better in the crucial points of the opening set, fending off all five break points he faced and breaking Arevalo in game five that delivered the set for him. Both players served well in the opening nine games of set number two and Arevalo made the crucial break in game 10 to steal the set and send the match into a decider.

They traded breaks in games five and six and it was Arevalo who had more strength in the closing stages, winning 16 of the last 19 points and rattling off the last four games to cross the finish line first. Semi-final results:

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