Bedene Keeps Up Blistering Run With Barletta Treble
Open Citta Della Disfida (Barletta, Italy): Aljaz Bedene remains undefeated on the ATP Challenger Tour in 2017, having secured back-to-back titles this weekend.
The Brit moves to 15-0 for the season in Challenger matches after he navigated through the field in Barletta to oust top seed Gastao Elias 7-6(4), 6-3 and secure a tour-leading third title of the season.
Bedene’s third Barletta title (2011 and 2012) is projected to move him back into the Top 70 of the Emirates ATP Rankings.
Serbian wildcard Miomir Kecmanovic produced an impressive run to the semi-finals (l. Menendez-Maceiras) in just his second main draw appearance at the Challenger level.
WHAT THE PLAYERS SAID
Bedene: “I am really pleased with the way I played the last two weeks. I have worked hard to get here. I am trying to stay disciplined through every match and that has brought me success on this level in 2017."
“I’m feeling fit and ready, so if I stay focused on the tasks I have to do, I will be back where I want to be.”
Martin: “I’m really happy to win five matches in a row because I’ve being had some health problems at the beginning of the year. It’s my first tournament after recovery and I’m so happy I could finish all the matches and go all the way through to winning the tournament."
"It feels great to be back feeling physically good. Obviously winning gives you confidence, hopefully I continue to play this good tennis and keep physically well."
Andrej Martin (@AndrejMartinSVK) April 17, 2017
A LOOK AHEAD
A trio of events are scheduled on the ATP Challenger Tour this week. Bradenton, Florida hosts the $100,000 Elizabeth Moore Sarasota Open on green clay.
Kei Nishikori (2010) and Nick Kyrgios (2014) are past champions at this event, which will host a quartet of #NextGenATP hopefuls looking to take the title. Top seed Jared Donaldson is joined by fellow Americans Frances Tiafoe, Michael Mmoh and Reilly Opelka. Also, 2016 runner-up Gerald Melzer (l. M.Zverev) returns to Florida along with his brother and former Top 10 player Jurgen Melzer.
Qingdao, China hosts the $125,000 International Challenger China 2017 Qingdao and Australian Jordan Thompson leads the clay-court field with reigning champion Janko Tipsarevic. #NextGenATP duo Quentin Halys and Alex De Minaur and Gianluigi Quinzi will also vie for valuable Emirates ATP Rankings points.
The $125,000 2017 Santaizi Challenger, played on carpet, welcomes former World No. 8 Marcos Baghdatis to Taipei, Taiwan. Konstantin Kravchuk, runner-up in 2015 and 2016, joins #NextGenATP players Akira Santillan and Duckhee Lee in the field.
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