Lukas Rosol, Reilly Opelka and Carlos Berlocq reach final


Lukas Rosol, Reilly Opelka and Carlos Berlocq reach final

* Bratislava, Slovakia, €106,000+H (Indoor Hard) : The 33-year-old Czech Lukas Rosol is through to his 12th Challenger final in a career and the second of the season after a 7-5 7-6 win over Dennis Novak in just an hour and 24 minutes. It was a fluid match on the fast indoor court and Lukas saved all three break points to keep his serve intact, creating two chances on the return and converting one to seal the deal in straight sets.

Lukas lost just five points in his service games in the opening set and he seized a chance on the return in the 12th game to win the opener 7-5. Novak wasted thre break points in the second set and he lost the tie break 7-1 to had the win to his rival.

The 21-year-old Alexander Bublik is through to his third Challenger final and the first since August 2017 following a 7-5 7-6 win over Matthias Bachinger in an hour and 27 minutes, in a very similar match to what we saw in the first semis. Still, we saw seven breaks in this one, with four breaks fro Bublik who had the edge in the closing stages of both sets to secure a much-needed win for the place in the final.

Alexander had 15 aces but also nine doubles faults, struggling on the second serve but erasing that deficit with a solid performance on the return, winning more than 40% of the return points and prevailing with those four breaks.

They traded breaks twice in the opening set to stay neck and neck and it was Bublik who grabbed another break in the 11th game before serving out for the set a few minutes later. From 3-1 down in the second set, Bachinger broke back in game six and nothing could separate them until the tie break that Alexander won 7-4 with a single mini-break to set the final meeting with Rosol.

* Mouilleron le Captif, France, €85,000+H (Indoor Hard) : Yannick Maden will seek his first Challenger title in the fourth final after a 6-2 6-3 win over Alexey Vatutin in an hour and 18 minutes. The German lost just 14 points in his games and he saved the only break point he faced to keep the pressure on the Russian who couldn't follow the same pace behind his initial shot, dropping half of the points on serve and getting broken four times from 11 chances he offered to Yannick.

Maden hit the right zone from the very first game and he broke Vatutin in games five and seven before closing the opener with a nice hold at 5-2. He continued in the same style in set number two, breaking Alexey in games three and nine to wrap up the win and secure the place in the final, his second of the season.

* Montevideo, Uruguay, $75,000+H (Outdoor Clay) : The Argentinian veteran Carlos Berlocq is closing on his 350th Challenger win after entering his 33rd final at this level, the third of the season. Carlos played on a very high level to oust the Spaniard Mario Vilella Martinez 6-1 6-4 in an hour and 23 minutes after losing 14 points on serve and facing just one break point, taking the rival's serve three times to control the scoreboard all the time. Mario stayed in touch in set number two after saving two break points but Berlocq broke him at love in game nine, closing the match on own serve to earn more points and stay in the chase for the Top 100 spot at the age of 35.

* Knoxville, USA, $75,000 (Indoor Hard) : The giant American Reilly Opelka will play in his fourth Challenger final of the season at home in Knoxville after a 6-3 6-4 win over a former junior number 1 Nikola Milojevic in just 64 minutes. Reilly served at 75% and he lost just 11 points in his games, blasting one good serve after another to finish the match on 18 aces.

Milojevic couldn't follow Reilly's pace on the first serve and he faced five break points, losing serve once in each set to end his run in the semis. The Serb wasted a game point in the first service games to suffer a break and that was all Opelka needed to wrap up the opener with a hold at love in game nine.

The American saved a break point at 2-3 in set number two and he stole Nikola's serve in the following game to move 4-3 in front, holding at love in the last two service games to secure his place in the title match. Quarter-final results:

Reilly Opelka Carlos Berlocq Yannick Maden