Hugo Dellien and Tung-Lin Wu reach final in Santiago


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Hugo Dellien and Tung-Lin Wu reach final in Santiago

* Zhuhai, China, $54,160+H (Outdoor Hard) : The 27-year-old Enrique Lopez Perez is through to his fourth Challenger final, the first since Fergana last June, following a commanding 6-4, 6-2 triumph over Kaichi Uchida in 65 minutes.

The Spaniard got broken once although that was never enough for Uchida to score more favorable result, dropping almost half of the points in his games and getting broken four times. The opening set offered nine easy holds and one loose that cost Uchida dearly, handing the game at 1-1 and having no chance to get it back by the end of the set.

Enrique raced into a 5-0 lead in set number two and he sealed the deal with a hold at 15 in game eight for a much-needed final following a string of poor results in the last six or seven months. The 24-year-old Russian Evgeny Karlovskiy will be his rival in the final, entering the second Challenger title match after a hard-fought 7-6, 7-6 win over the 10th seed Ze Zhang in an hour and 43 minutes.

There were two breaks of serve on each side and nothing could separate them from start to finish, with Karlovskiy saving two set points in the opening set tie break and coming back from a 5-2 down in set number two. They traded breaks in games four and five in the opener and set the tie break where the Russian wasted a 6-3 advantage, fending off those set points at 6-7 and 7-8 to before seizing it 10-8.

Zhang earned a break in the fourth game of the second set to open a 5-2 lead, losing serve in the pivotal moment at 5-3 and giving the breaker away 7-3 to propel Karlovskiy into the final, the first at this level since Winnetka last year.

* Santiago, Chile, $54,160+H (Outdoor Clay) : An in-form Bolivian Hugo Dellien (quarter-finalist in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo) is through to his sixth Challenger final and the first since Marburg last July after a 6-4, 6-0 win over the 15th seed Thomaz Bellucci in an hour and 18 minutes.

Hugo lost serve only once in the third game of the match and controlled the pace in the rest of the encounter against a former world no. 21 beautifully, taking the opening set with a break in game ten and winning all six games in set number two to march towards the finish line and advance into the title match.

In the other semi-final, the 20-year-old Tung-Lin Wu had never played in the Challenger quarter-final before, entering only the second Challenger event on clay in a career and scoring a thrilling 6-2, 6-3 triumph against the top seed Pablo Andujar in an hour and 15 minutes.

The youngster delivered better performance on the first serve and got broken only once, keeping the pressure on the experienced Spaniard who landed just 43% of the first serve in, losing almost half of the points behind the initial shot and giving serve away four times to end his run in the semis.

Wu did everything right in the opening set, serving well and rattling off four straight games for a 6-2. Pablo stayed in touch until 3-3 in the second set before Tung-Lin secured three consecutive games to book the place in the maiden Challenger final.