* Monterrey, Mexico, $150,000+H (Outdoor Hard) : In the oldest Challenger final ever, the 36-year-old David Ferrer has defeated the 39-year-old Croatian veteran Ivo Karlovic 6-3 6-4 in an hour and nine minutes for his sixth Challenger title and the first in more than 16 years! Both players have struggled to find the form on the ATP Tour and they decided to play Challenger last week, entering the final to write history.
In their five matches on the ATP Tour there was at least one tie break in every encounter but not this time around in Monterrey, with Ferrer losing just 12 points in 10 service games, never facing a break point and stealing rival's serve once in each set for one of his last titles in a career before the retirement in Madrid next spring.
Karlovic was powerless on the return and he struggled on his second serve as well, facing seven break points and giving his serve away twice to end on the runner-up spot. He hit just eight aces and there was no way his groundstrokes would be able to follow David's pace from the baseline, making too many errors to hand the win to his rival.
Ivo saved a break point in the fourth game but David found the way to break him next time around with a backhand cross court winner that pushed him 4-2 up. The Spaniard lost just two points on serve in the entire set and he won it 6-3 when Karlovic sent a forehand long in the ninth game, hoping for more of the same in set number two.
There, he converted the third break point in the third game after a double fault from Karlovic and that was all he needed to wrap up the title, sealing the deal with a service winner in game 10 for his first title overall since Bastad last year.
* Stockton, USA, $100,000 (Outdoor Hard) : Playing in his third Challenger final since August, the 21-year-old South African Lloyd Harris has defeated the fellow U21 star Marc Polmans 6-2 6-2 in an hour and 11 minutes for his second Challenger title. A tall player from Cape Town had just three aces but nothing went wrong in his service games, fending off all three break points to keep the pressure on Polmans who failed to endure it, losing almost 50% of the points in his games and suffering four breaks from nine chances he gave to Harris.
Lloyd broke his rival in the very first game of the match with a return winner and he controlled the pace in the rest of the match, taming his shots nicely in windy conditions to leave Polmans far behind. He moved 5-2 ahead when Marc netted a backhand in game seven and he secured the set a few minutes later with an ace.
Polmans hit a double fault to lose serve at the start of the second set and he found himself 6-2 4-1 down after another return winner from Harris in game five. The South African saved two break points while serving for the match at 5-2 and he crossed the finish line a few points later when Marc sprayed a backhand error, celebrating the title and moving closer to the place inside the Top 100.