* Shenzhen 2, China, $75,000+H (Outdoor Hard) : The 19-year-old Miomir Kecmanovic has won his second Challenger title in Shenzhen, defeating Blaz Kavcic 6-2 2-6 6-3 in an hour and 55 minutes for a career-high ranking and a great finish of the season. Miomir is the seventh different teenager with a Challenger title in 2018 and he earned a win after saving five out of eight break points and stealing the Slovenian's serve five times from 12 opportunities he created on the return.
The Serb was off to a quick start with breaks in games one and five and he saved five break points while serving for the set at 5-2 to secure the opener in a great style. Kavcic took charge in set number two, breaking the youngster three times in a row for a 6-2 and gathering the momentum before the decider.
Nonetheless, Kecmanovic was back at his best, sailing through his service games in set number three and scoring two breaks to clinch the win and lift the first Challenger trophy since Suzhou last year, also in China. * Canberra 2, Australia, $75,000 (Outdoor Hard) : The 24-year-old Sydney native Jordan Thompson has had a great run during the Aussie swing, winning back-to-back Challenger titles in Traralgon and Canberra to pass the magical number of 50 wins at this level in a single season, finishing on 52 which is the most since Carlos Berlocq who claimed 57 in 2010! Jordan has played in eight finals in 2018 and he won three titles to come close to the career-high ranking he had in February last year.
Jordan grabbed his seventh Challenger crown with a 6-1 5-7 6-4 triumph over Nicola Kuhn in an hour and 55 minutes, staying focused in the closing stages of the match to overpower the young rival. Jordan served at impressive 82% but Nicola broke him four times to stay in touch until 4-4 in the deciding set.
On the other hand, the Aussie created 12 break points and he grabbed six breaks to emerge as a winner, taking the first set in just 20 minutes after a superb performance on serve and breaks in games two and four. Kuhn raised his level in the second set, sealing it with a break in game 12 and opening a 2-0 advantage in set number three.
Thompson bounced back and they stayed neck and neck until game nine when Jordan scored a break to move in front, sealing the title with a nice hold in the following game. * Charlottesville, USA, $75,000 (Indoor Hard) : Back in 2015, an 18-year-old Tommy Paul had qualified for the main draw at Charlottesville Challenger to reach the title match where he was beaten by another youngster Noah Rubin.
Three years later, Tommy entered the main draw at the same event as a lucky loser and this time there was no one who could stop him, scoring five impressive wins in straight sets to wrap up the first Challenger title in a career.
In the title match, Tommy took down the 8th seed Peter Polansky 6-2 6-2 in just 58 minutes for his biggest success in a career so far, delivering the 25th Challenger crown for the NextGen stars in 2018! Tommy lost just 10 points in eight service games in what has been a one-sided encounter, saving the only break point he faced and winning more than half of the return points to break Peter four times from eight chances.