Sela Soars To Canberra Challenger Title
A LOOK BACK
East Hotel Canberra Challenger (Canberra, Australia): For the 21st time in his career, Dudi Sela is the last man standing at an ATP Challenger Tour event, rallying past top seed Jan-Lennard Struff in Canberra. The Israeli needed one hour and 49 minutes to dispatch the German 3-6, 6-4, 6-3, maintaining his strong run of form after reaching the semi-finals at the Aircel Chennai Open a week ago. The title puts Sela five behind Yen-Hsun Lu for the all-time Challenger lead, but more importantly sees the 31 year old soar 20 spots to World No. 67 in the Emirates ATP Rankings.
Buoyed by the boisterous Israeli contingent in Canberra, Sela overcame 11 aces and saved eight of 13 break points faced. He improved to 3-0 in his FedEx ATP Head2Head series against Struff, most recently prevailing in a five-set thriller at the 2015 Australian Open.
Challenger Title Leaders
Wind Energy Holding Bangkok Open II (Bangkok, Thailand): Janko Tipsarevic could not have asked for a better start to the 2017 season. The former World No. 8 is on the doorstep of a Top 100 return, vaulting 40 spots in the Emirates ATP Rankings to No. 104 with back-to-back titles in Bangkok. A week ago, Tipsarevic did not drop a set en route to his 12th ATP Challenger Tour title. On Saturday, he lifted No. 13, downing China's Zhe Li 6-2, 6-3 in one hour and 32 minutes.
The Serbian rolled to the title, not relinquishing more than three games in a set since dropping the opener of his first-round match against Egor Gerasimov. Tipsarevic is now on an eight-match win streak in Challenger finals, since 2006.
Other News: Former World No. 62 Somdev Devvarman announced his retirement from professional tennis. The 31 year old reached two ATP World Tour finals, falling to Marin Cilic on home soil in Chennai in 2009 and to Kevin Anderson in Johannesburg in 2011. Devvarman also enjoyed great success on the Challenger circuit, posting a 94-71 record and clinching five titles. He won consecutive crowns in New Delhi from 2014-15 and lifted the trophy in Lexington in 2008, Izmir in 2010 and most recently in Winnetka in 2015.
Starting 2017 on a new note, retiring from pro tennis. Thanks to everyone for the love and support over the years. #newyearnewbeginnings— Somdev Devvarman (@SomdevD) January 1, 2017
WHAT THE PLAYERS SAID
Sela: “I was a bit lucky today but I’m happy that I won. The experience of this stage that I have been on so many times before helped me a lot.
“It’s nice to see the flag of your country all the way here in Australia. If they were not here today, I’m not sure if I could have had the motivation to come back like that. I didn’t want to let them down.”
ATP CHALLENGER TOUR ON TWITTER: The ATP Challenger Tour has launched a dedicated Twitter account for the latest news and information about players and events. Follow @ATPChallengerTour at twitter.com/ATPChallengerTour.