Lukas Rosol is back! Clarke, Polansky and Griekspoor shine as well


Lukas Rosol is back! Clarke, Polansky and Griekspoor shine as well

* Granby, Canada, $100,000 (Outdoor Hard) : The 30-year-old Canadian Peter Polansky has won his third Challenger crown from 10 finals after a 6-4 1-6 6-2 triumph over the Frenchman Ugo Humbert in an hour and 49 minutes. This is the first title for Polansky since Gatineau in 2016 and he earned it after saving eight out of 10 break points, converting three chances on the return to emerge as a winner.

Humbert fired 12 aces and he had to play against only four break points, also winning four points more than Polansky but losing the ground in the decider to finish runner-up. Peter broke in the very first game of the match, saving five break points in the next game to keep the lead until the 10th game when he held at 30 to bring the opener home.

Humbert controlled the pace in set number two, breaking Polansky twice for a 6-1, hoping for more of the same in the decider. Still, the Canadian recovered his game and broke the Frenchman in games four and eight to lift the title.

* Binghamton, USA, $75,000 (Outdoor Hard) : The 20-year-old Briton Jay Clarke has claimed his maiden Challenger title after a hard-fought 6-7 7-6 6-4 win over the top seed Jordan Thompson in two hours and 56 minutes. Jordan was two points away from the title in the second set tie break but he couldn't bring the match home, losing serve once in the decider to hand the title to his rival.

Clark defended his second serve in a more efficient way and he faced just three break points, losing serve once to keep the pressure on Jordan. The Aussie had to play against nine break points, getting broken twice to end on the losing side, dropping his ninth Challenger final in 14 appearances.

It was a great start for both players, standing at 5-5 when Thompson had to save three break points in game 11, overcoming that deficit and another one at 5-3 at tie break to steal the breaker 8-6, saving a set point at 5-6.

They traded breaks in games six and seven of the second set and Thompson saved a set point on own serve at 4-5. It was Jay's turn to suffer on serve in game 11, fending off two break points to reach the tie break that he won 7-5, claiming the last three points to escape and prolong the match.

The Briton served well in the decider, carried by this momentum, and he broke Thompson in game seven, sealing the deal on own serve in game 10 after a deuce for his first Challenger title. * Prague, Czech Republic, €43,000+H (Outdoor Clay) : A former world number 26 Lukas Rosol has been struggling with injuries in the last couple of seasons, unable to return at his best and currently standing at the 261st place on the ATP list. For the first time since 2009, Rosol was forced to play Futures in March this year but he leaves that behind him after claiming the ninth Challenger title at home in Prague, defeating Aleksandr Nedovyesov 4-6 6-3 6-4 in two hours and six minutes for the first title since at this level since this very same tournament four years ago! It was a close match with one break in each set but it was Lucas who played a little bit better on both the first and second serve, fending off six out of seven break points and scoring two breaks from eight opportunities to prevail in three sets and clinch much-needed crown in front of the home crowd.

Nedovyesov saved both break points he faced in the opener and the set was in his hands after a late break in game 10, creating three break points at the start of the second set that could bring him closer to the finish line.

Lukas saved them all to remain unbroken and he won the last three games of the set at 3-3 to set up a decider where he had the momentum on his side. The Czech lost just seven points in five service games and the pressure was on Aleksandr who failed to endure it, getting broken in game five and allowing Rosol to complete the triumph with another good hold in game 10. Final results:


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Lukas Rosol Sergio Gutierrez-Ferro Federico Gaio