#NextGenATP Kozlov Claims Second Challenger Crown In Las Vegas
A LOOK BACK
Las Vegas Tennis Open (Las Vegas, Nevada, USA): #NextGenATP star Stefan Kozlov returned to the winners' circle on Sunday, storming back from a set down to claim his second ATP Challenger Tour title. The American teen overcame Liam Broady 3-6, 7-5, 6-4 in two hours and 19 minutes for his first crown since lifting his maiden trophy in Columbus nearly one year ago.
Kozlov failed to convert on two match points at 5-3 in the decider, but held his nerve and closed out the win on his third at 5-4. The 19-year-old's win is the 13th for teenagers this year and 10th among Americans.
"We both just put it on the line today and it was 50-50," Kozlov said. "We were both left gasping for air and it wasn’t easy. It could have gone either way today. I was very impressed with Liam’s sportsmanship today. I haven’t had the best last couple of months, a lot of ups and downs. For all the downs, you have to kind of look for the ups and today I had to dig deep for mine."
Yinzhou International Men's Tennis Challenger (Ningbo, China): Former World No. 8 Mikhail Youzhny is on the precipice of a Top 100 return after streaking to the title in Ningbo on Sunday. Youzhny did not drop a set all week, capped by a 6-1, 6-1 rout of Taro Daniel in the final. The Russian will rise to No. 101 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, improving to 6-1 in finals on the ATP Challenger Tour.
The week in Ningbo also featured one of the biggest comebacks and upsets of the year, as Austrian teen Jurij Rodionov stunned second seed Jordan Thompson from 3-6, 1-5 down to reach his first Challenger semi-final. Another teenager making noise at the $125,000 event was Japan's Yosuke Watanuki. The 19 year old reached the quarter-finals and will rise 62 spots to a career-high No. 368 in the Emirates ATP Rankings.
Wolffkran Open (Ismaning, Germany): The inaugural tournament in Ismaning was a great success, with the top German players showcasing their talents on home soil. Six of the eight seeds were from the European nation and one of them - No. 3 Yannick Hanfmann - would take the title on Sunday. Hanfmann clinched his maiden ATP Challenger Tour crown 6-4, 3-6, 7-5 over Lorenzo Sonego. Runner-up at the ATP World Tour event in Gstaad earlier this year, he will rise to a career-high No. 113 in the Emirates ATP Rankings.
First ATP Challenger title🏆✌️💪☺️! Especially happy it being on home soil. 🇩🇪 Thanks for the… https://t.co/YJJSnFY3xN— Yannick Hanfmann (@YannickHanfmann) October 22, 2017
"It was an amazing feeling to win my first Challenger title in front of this home crowd," said Hanfmann. "Especially after being down a break in the third set and looking like the loser. It gave me a huge boost that the crowd kept cheering me on. The tournament was greatly organised and I hope they will continue for many more years. It presents a great opportunity for our young guys from the region to fight for [Emirates ATP Rankings] points."
Milo Open (Cali, Colombia): World No. 69 Federico Delbonis lifted his ninth ATP Challenger Tour trophy and second of the year, defeating Guilherme Clezar 7-6(10), 7-5 in Cali on Saturday. The Argentine had also claimed victory on the clay of Todi, Italy, in June. It marks the second straight week in which a player from Argentina has won a Challenger title, following Nicolas Kicker's triumph in Buenos Aires.
A LOOK AHEAD
There are five tournaments on four continents. In Asia, Blaz Kavcic leads the field in Suzhou, China, while Taylor Fritz is the top seed at the third annual Vietnam Open in Ho Chi Minh City.
In Brest, France, third seed Norbert Gombos will seek to successfully defend his title. The €106,000 event also features #NextGenATP stars Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas. Tsitsipas is coming off his first ATP World Tour semi-final last week in Antwerp.
Also, in Traralgon, Australia, top seed Jordan Thompson will look to retain the title. Christian Garin seeks to do the same in Lima, Peru.