Reilly Opelka, Bradley Klahn and Pablo Andujar win titles


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Reilly Opelka, Bradley Klahn and Pablo Andujar win titles

* Bangalore, India, $150,000+H (Outdoor Hard) : The 29-year-old Prajnesh Gunneswaran is on a verge of entering the Top 100 after claiming his second Challenger title of the season at home in Bangalore, defeating Saketh Myneni 6-2 6-2 in the title match in just 55 minutes. Prajnesh lost 14 points in eight service games, never facing a break point and keeping the pressure on Myneni who couldn't produce similar numbers in his games, struggling on his second serve to play against 10 break points and give his serve away twice in each set to finish runner-up.

The first set was decided with a couple of breaks from Prajnesh in games one and seven and he sealed the deal with a strong performance in set number two as well, stealing rival's serve in games one and five to march towards the finish line and achieve a career-high ranking.

* Houston, USA, $150,000+H (Outdoor Hard) : The 28-year-old Bradley Klahn has claimed his seventh Challenger crown at home in Houston, edging Roy Smith 7-6 7-6 in an hour and 35 minutes to crack the Top 80 for the first time since July 2014! Smith is a Collegiate player at Baylor and this was the best result of his career so far, earning enough points to almost hit the Top 400 and giving his best to push Klahn to the limits in the entire match.

Bradley fired 25 aces and he lost just 10 points on serve, fending off the only break point he faced to keep the pressure on his rival who also delivered some impressive tennis to repel all four break points he had to play against to reach two tie breaks.

Due to a bad weather, the match was played indoor and we saw 12 easy holds in the opener, with Bradley prevailing in the breaker with a single mini-break. Smith saved match points to set up another tie break in set number two and he opened it with a 3-0 lead before losing seven of the next eight points to hand the win to his rival.

* Champaign, USA, $75,000 (Indoor Hard) : The 21-year-old Reilly Opelka has entered the Top 100 for the very first time after winning the title in Champaign, his second in a row after Knoxville and also the fourth overall.

In the title match, Reilly overpowered Ryan Shane 7-6 6-3 in just 67 minutes, blasting 21 aces and dropping 10 points in 10 service games to stay away from break points. A qualifier fought well in the opening set and he even had a set point at 6-5 in the tie break that Reilly saved with a volley winner, winning three points in a row to steal the breaker 8-6.

Carried by this momentum, Opelka broke twice in the second set to secure his win and the career-best ranking in his last event of the season. * Buenos Aires, Argentina, $50,000+H (Outdoor Clay) : Entering the season from outside the Top 1500, Pablo Andujar made another push in order to overcome injuries and get back where he belongs at the age of 32.

The Spaniard won an ATP title in Marrakech and he returned into the Top 100 for the first time in two and a half years two weeks ago, improving his ranking with three Challenger titles, finishing his season with a title in Buenos Aires.

In the championship match, Andujar toppled Pedro Cachin 6-3 6-1 in an hour and 32 minutes for his eighth Challenger crown from 16 finals, playing better in the decisive moments to save eight out of nine break points and steal rival's serve five times from six opportunities.

They traded breaks at the start of the match and it was Andujar who controlled the pace in the rest of the opener, taking the set 6-3 with breaks in games five and nine. The Spaniard saved five break points in the fifth game of the second set and he delivered two breaks to cross the finish line first and wrap up the season in the best possible way after barely being ranked in January. Final results:

* Bangalore, India, $150,000+H (Outdoor Hard) : 
[4]Prajnesh Gunneswaran (IND) vs [WC]Saketh Myneni (IND) 6-2 6-2 [55]
* Houston, USA, $150,000+H (Outdoor Hard) : 
[2]Bradley Klahn (USA) vs [WC]Roy Smith (USA) 7-6(4) 7-6(4) [1:35]
* Champaign, USA, $75,000 (Indoor Hard) : 
[4]Reilly Opelka (USA) vs [Q]Ryan Shane (USA) 7-6(6) 6-3 [1:07]
* Buenos Aires, Argentina, $50,000+H (Outdoor Clay) : 
[2]Pablo Andujar (ESP) vs Pedro Cachin (ARG) 6-3 6-1 [1:32]
* Kobe, Japan, $50,000+H (Indoor Hard) : 
[2]Tatsuma Ito (JPN) vs [7]Yosuke Watanuki (JPN) 3-6 7-5 6-3 [2:10]