Reaching just one Challenger final combined before this week, Gianluca Mager and Roberto Ortega-Olmedo have passed all the obstacles in Koblenz as unseeded players to set the title match. After two hours, Mager prevailed 2-6, 7-6, 6-2, lingering two points away from the defeat in the second set tie break before winning it 8-6 and playing on a high level in the decider for his career-best result.
The Italian won three points more than his rival and they both scored four breaks, playing one tight set and two where one player had the upper hand. Ortega-Olmedo served well in the opening set, standing strong on the return as well and breaking Mager twice to make the best possible start of the encounter.
The Spaniard broke at 15 in the very first game when Mager netted a backhand and he saved a break point in game six with a powerful forehand that moved him 4-2 in front. Gianluca suffered another break in game seven and Roberto secured the set with a service winner a few minutes later for a 6-2.
They traded breaks at 1-1 in set number two and Mager survived two break points at 4-4 with some good hitting before Ortega-Olmedo broke at love in game 11 to serve for the title. Facing an elimination, Gianluca broke back at 15 to prolong the set, taking the tie break 8-6 following a costly double fault from Roberto to set a deciding set.
The momentum was now firmly on the side of the Italian player and he sailed through his service games in set number three, dropping two points behind the initial shot and scoring back-to-back breaks for a big lead. Mager secured the first break in the third game and another one at 3-1, sealing the deal with a hold at 15 in game eight for the first Challenger crown.
* Koblenz, Germany, €46,600+H (Indoor Hard) : Final result:
Gianluca Mager (ITA) vs Roberto Ortega-Olmedo (ESP) 2-6 7-6(6) 6-2 [2:00]