Cuevas Completes Montevideo Treble With Stunning Hot Shot
A LOOK BACK
Uruguay Open (Montevideo, Uruguay): They were dancing in the streets of Montevideo, as home hope and top seed Pablo Cuevas streaked to the title. It was a celebration of tennis all week at the Uruguay Open, which featured a visit from football legend Diego Forlan. Raucous crowds packed the tournament from start to finish. On Sunday, Cuevas lifted his third tournament trophy with a 6-4, 6-3 victory over Gastao Elias, adding to triumphs in 2009 and 2014. The win had added significance for the Uruguayan, who moved to No. 32 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, putting him in position to be seeded at the Australian Open.
Cuevas, who fired arguably the shot of the year on the ATP World Tour at the Mutua Madrid Open, replicated the feat in Montevideo with a stunning tweener pass.
Peugeot Slovak Open (Bratislava, Slovakia): Cuevas wasn't the only player to complete a title treble on Sunday. Lukas Lacko also prevailed on home soil, notching his third title in Bratislava with a 6-4, 7-6(4) victory over Marius Copil. The Slovak, who previously triumphed in 2011 and 2013, emerged victorious in dramatic fashion after challenging an 'out' call on a backhand pass on match point. The call would be overturned, giving Lacko his 10th ATP Challenger Tour title.
Internationaux de Vendee (Mouilleron-le-Captif, France): Elias Ymer had fallen on tough times earlier in the year, dropping to No. 293 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, but the #NextGenATP Swede has since rediscovered his rhythm on the ATP Challenger Tour. Ymer took the title on Sunday at the presitigous indoor event in Mouilleron-le-Captif, defeating Yannick Maden 7-5, 6-4 in one hour and 35 minutes. It was Ymer's second crown of the year, having lifted the trophy in Cordenons, Italy, in August. He has vaulted to No. 146, solidifying his place in the Top 150 to conclude the 2017 season.
Hyogo Noah Challenger (Kobe, Japan): Stephane Robert claimed a slice of ATP Challenger Tour history on Sunday in Kobe, becoming the third-oldest winner ever. At 37 years and five months, he overcame fellow Frenchman Calvin Hemery 7-6(1), 6-7(5), 6-1 in two hours and five minutes for the title. Only Dick Norman (38 years, one month) and Bob Carmichael (37 years, six months) were older when they won at Mexico City 2009 and Hobart 1978, respectively. It was Robert's eighth Challenger victory in total and first since February of last year, when he won in New Delhi, India. He soared 92 spots in the Emirates ATP Rankings to No. 231.
Knoxville Challenger (Knoxville, Tennessee, U.S.A.): Canada's Filip Peliwo enjoyed the best week of his career, surging to his maiden ATP Challenger Tour title in Knoxville. Peliwo prevailed as a qualifier, dropping just one set in eight matches, capped by a 6-4, 6-2 win over Denis Kudla in the final. A highly-touted junior, having reached No. 1 behind Wimbledon and US Open titles in 2012, the Canadian has struggled thus far in his pro career. But the 23-year-old is poised to turn around his fortunes, rising to a career-high No. 195 in the Emirates ATP Rankings. He is the 10th qualifier to lift a trophy this year.
A LOOK AHEAD
The penultimate week of the season features five tournaments on four continents. Santiago, Chile, is one of the jewels of the ATP Challenger Tour in South America and welcomes home hope Nicolas Jarry as its second seed. Top seed Rogerio Dutra Silva won the title in 2015, while unseeded Argentine Maximo Gonzalez is the defending champion.
India begins its two-week swing with the $50,000 event in Pune. The city, which will host an ATP World Tour event in January, features Blaz Kavcic as its top seed and Yuki Bhambri as its top native son. Meanwhile, second seed and two-time defending champion Henri Laaksonen returns to Champaign, while 2013 winner Tennys Sandgren leads the field.
Marton Fucsovics is the top seed in Brescia, Italy, while Lacko eyes back-to-back crowns as the fourth seed. Robert eyes consecutive victories on Japanese soil in Toyota, where Taro Daniel is the top seed. Second seed Matthew Ebden won the title in 2013.