Schwartzman Wins ATP Challenger Tour Finals Title
Argentine Diego Schwartzman finished off his year in style.
Diego Schwartzman capped a dominant 2014 campaign with an impressive performance in the final of the ATP Challenger Tour Finals, earning a 6-2, 6-3 win in 73 minutes over eighth-seeded wild card Guilherme Clezar on Sunday.
The 22 year old concludes a career-year on the Challenger circuit, which included the most match wins (48), tied for the most titles (5) and with a projected career-high Top 70 position in the year-end Emirates ATP Rankings. Only three players have won more matches in a single season on the ATP Challenger Tour than Schwartzman, with compatriot Carlos Berlocq having claimed the most (57) in 2010.
"It was an incredible week," said Schwartzman, who earns 110 Emirates ATP Rankings points and $84,900. "The tournament was great, well organised. I’m very happy. Since the first round, I managed to play a good level of tennis. I played all matches really well. I got into the final with a lot of confidence. Clezar was a little bit nervous and I took advantage of that. My technique was was great too, all my strokes were going in.
"I will get into a lot of tournaments next year. We have the Australian Open in January. It was great to win this title, because of the prize money and also climbing up the (Emirates ATP Rankings)."
The Buenos Aires native followed up a strong performance against Clezar in the round robin stage, in which he earned a 6-3, 6-2 win on day one of the competition at the Pinheiros Sports Club in Sao Paulo. He would burst out of the gates once again on Sunday, breaking the Brazilian in the first game of the match and would never look back, earning another break to open the second set. Schwartzman, who joins Guido Pella as Argentine champions at the season finale, staved off two of three break points faced on his own serve, winning 68 per cent of total service points.
Schwartzman, the shortest player in the Top 100 of the Emirates ATP Rankings at 5'7", also added titles in Aix-en-Provence, Prague II, Campinas and San Juan this year. He was on the brink of elimination this week, needing to stave off two match points on Friday against Joao Souza to qualify for the semi-finals.
"When Souza was serving for the match and had match point, I was already thinking about my vacation in Buenos Aires," added Schwartzman. "But that happens at tennis. I was close to elimination and now I’m the champion."
Clezar, meanwhile, falls to 2-1 overall in title matches on the ATP Challenger Tour. The World No. 331 was the story of the tournament, having reeled off three straight Top 100 match wins to reach the final, including a three-hour and 11-minute thriller against Victor Estrella Burgos on Saturday. The 21 year old saved three match points en route to topping the Dominican 14-12 in a third-set tie-break. He became the lowest-ranked player to reach the final at the ATP Challenger Tour Finals.