Ugo Humbert and Filippo Bladi reach title match in Andria

Tennis - In Pune, Elias Ymer and Prajnesh Gunneswaran have secured the place in the final

by Jovica Ilic
Ugo Humbert and Filippo Bladi reach title match in Andria

* Pune, India, $50,000+H (Outdoor Hard) : Arriving in Pune with a career-high ranking, the 29-year-old Prajnesh Gunneswaran has made back-to-back finals after winning Bangalore last week, ousting the top seed Radu Albot 1-6 6-4 6-4 in two hours for his fifth Challenger final and the fourth in 2018. Thanks to that opening set, Albot won five points more than the Indian but it wasn't enough to reach the final, scoring three straight breaks in the opening set but losing the edge in the rest of the match.

Gunneswaran raised his level in set number two, dropping six points in five service games and breaking Albot in the third game to settle into a nice rhythm and bring the set home to force a decider. There, he grabbed another break in the third game and he stayed in front after saving three break chances in the rest of the set, entering the title match after a solid hold in game 10 to move even closer to the place in the Top 100.

The 3rd seed Elias Ymer is through to his sixth Challenger final after a 6-3 3-6 6-3 2 win over Brayden Schnur in an hour and 43 minutes. The Swede won just two points more than his rival but he scored four breaks from 10 chances, struggling to find the rhythm on the second serve but saving five out of eight break points to cross the finish line first.

Trailing 3-1 in the opener, Elias claimed five straight games to grab the set 6-3, breaking the Canadian in games six and eight. From 2-1 down in the second set, Schnur won five of the next six games, stealing Ymer's serve twice to take the set 6-3 and force a decider.

Ymer had to work hard there to stay on the positive side of the scoreboard, fending off five break points and scoring the break in the eighth game to wrap up the win on own serve in the following game for the place in the final.

* Andria, Italy, €43,000+H (Indoor Carpet) : The 20-year-old Ugo Humbert has been on quite a run at Challengers this year, defeating Kevin Krawietz 6-3 6-2 in an hour for the place in the sixth final of the season. Ugo blasted 12 aces and he lost just 13 points in nine service games, fending off both break points he faced to keep his serve intact and mount the pressure on the other side of the net.

The Frenchman needed some time to find his shots, saving a break point in games three and five before he broke Kevin at 4-3 to move ahead, closing the opener with a hold at love in game nine. Carried by this momentum, Humbert lost just three points in set number two, breaking the German in games one and seven before he sealed the deal with a hold at love at 5-2 for the place in the title match. Semi-final results:

* Pune, India, $50,000+H (Outdoor Hard) : 
[4]Prajnesh Gunneswaran (IND) vs [1]Radu Albot (MDA) 1-6 6-4 6-4 [2:00]
[3]Elias Ymer (SWE) vs Brayden Schnur (CAN) 6-3 3-6 6-3 [1:43]
* Andria, Italy, €43,000+H (Indoor Carpet) : 
[1]Ugo Humbert (FRA) vs Kevin Krawietz (GER) 6-3 6-2 [1:00] 
[8]Filippo Baldi (ITA) vs [6]Quentin Halys (FRA) 6-4 6-4 [1:01]

Ugo Humbert Elias Ymer Prajnesh Gunneswaran