Ugo Humbert and Elias Ymer claim last Challenger titles of the season


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Ugo Humbert and Elias Ymer claim last Challenger titles of the season

* Pune, India, $50,000+H (Outdoor Hard) : The 22-year-old Swede Elias Ymer is yet to lose a Challenger final, claiming his sixth title after a 6-2 7-5 win over the 4th seed Prajnesh Gunneswaran who celebrated in Bangalore seven days ago. Elias struggled a little bit on his second serve but he saved all four break points he faced to keep the serve intact, winning 40% of the return points to claim three breaks from nine opportunities.

Gunneswaran wasted a break point in the third game and he lost the ground after that, suffering breaks in games six and eight to drop the opener 6-2. The second set was closer and Ymer had to dig deep to stay on the positive side of the scoreboard, saving three break points and securing the title with a late break in game 12 to finish the season on a high note and prepare the ground for attacking the Top 100 in 2019.

* Andria, Italy, €43,000+H (Indoor Carpet) : The 20-year-old Ugo Humbert was barely ranked inside the Top 400 when he started the season at France F2 Futures in January.

11 months later, he is a Top 100 player after winning two ATP matches and no less than 34 on the Challenger Tour, reaching six finals and winning three titles to crack the Top 90 (he will use the Futures points in the last week of the season).

In the last event of the season, Humbert has managed to beat Filippo Baldi 6-4 7-6 in an hour and 26 minutes, becoming only the seventh player with three Challenger titles this season, all that after winning just two matches on that level prior to 2018! Just like in the previous four matches, the Frenchman was rock solid on his serve and he lost just 10 points behind the initial shot, keeping the pressure on his rival and waiting for a chance on the return patiently.

Baldi served at only 49% and despite that he fought until the very last point, fending off four out of five break points to stay in touch with the better-ranked opponent, having to settle for the runner-up spot after losing the second set tie break.

There was only one break point in the opening set and Ugo converted it in game seven to move 4-3 up, sealing the deal with four service winners in game 10 for a 6-4. The Italian had to work hard to stay on the rival's trail in set number two, fending off four break points to set up a tie break where Humbert moved in front with an early mini-break.

A left-hander served well after that and he wrapped up the win and the Challenger season with a service winner at 6-3, claiming his third Challenger crown and entering the Top 90 for the first time in his career. Final results:

* Pune, India, $50,000+H (Outdoor Hard) : 
[3]Elias Ymer (SWE) vs [4]Prajnesh Gunneswaran (IND) 6-2 7-5 [1:27]
* Andria, Italy, €43,000+H (Indoor Carpet) : 
[1]Ugo Humbert (FRA) vs [8]Filippo Baldi (ITA) 6-4 7-6(3) [1:26]