Aljaz Bedene counts to 15. Back-to-back titles for Michael Mmoh

by   |  VIEW 4359
Aljaz Bedene counts to 15. Back-to-back titles for Michael Mmoh

* Orleans, France, €127,000+H (Indoor Hard) : Aljaz Bedene has had a solid start of the season, winning 20 ATP matches so far but only three after reaching the third round in Rome. The 29-year-old Slovenian has decided to go back to the Challenger Tour for the first time since Barletta in April last year and he has won the 15th title at this level from 17 finals played, defeating Antoine Hoang 4-6 6-1 7-6 in two hours and 34 minutes after saving one match point at 5-6 in the tie break! This was the first Challenger final for the Frenchman and he fought well to earn that match point before his volley let him down to stay empty-handed.

Aljaz had to play against 14 break points, fending off 10 of those to stay in contention and breaking Antoine six times from eight opportunities to reach that final set tie break. Hoang won the opening set 6-4 with two breaks and Bedene took charge in set number two, sailing through his service games and breaking his rival three times for a 6-1, gathering the momentum before the deciding set.

There, the Slovenian moved 4-1 up to win 10 of the last 12 games but he lost the next four games, allowing Hoang to take a 5-4 lead and serve for the win in the following game. Aljaz broke back to stay in the match and he saved a break point in game 11 to somehow reach a tie break where he fends off a match point to steal the breaker 8-6 and lift the title, improving his amazing score in Challenger finals to 15-2.

* Tiburon, USA, $100,000 (Outdoor Hard) : The 20-year-old Michael Mmoh has won back-to-back Challenger titles at home in the USA, conquering Columbus and Tiburon to earn 170 points and crack the Top 100 for the first time.

In the final of Tiburon, Michael took down the top seed Marcel Granollers 6-3 7-5 in an hour and 49 minutes, repelling all five break points and converting two out of 11 break points, one in each set to secure the title. The American kicked off the match in a strong fashion, serving well and breaking Granollers in game four to open a 5-2 lead.

Serving for the set in the ninth game, Michael saved three break points to clinch the set 6-3 and he crossed the finish line with a break at 5-5 in set number two, winning 12 of the last 15 points to seal the deal and lift his fourth Challenger crown. Final results:


ALSO READ: September 30, 1998: Roger Federer scores his first ATP win in Toulouse