SEGOVIA, July 31, 2016
Luca Vanni captured his second ATP Challenger crown, winning the 31st edition of the €64,000 Open Castilla y León held in Villa de El Espinar. The 31-year-old Italian fought past third seed Illya Marchenko in Sunday’s final, winning 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.
Vanni sent down six aces and converted five of his nine break point opportunities to seal victory in two hours and 24 minutes. With his second triumph on the ATP Challenger Tour, following his win in Portoroz one year ago, the Italian veteran takes away €9,200 in prize money as well as 100 ATP ranking points. On Monday, Vanni will be back in the top 150. Marchenko will appear on a new career high 64th position.
“I knew that it was going to be a tough match. Illya won a lot of Challengers on hard court before and he is a very good player, ranked inside the top 100. But here in Segovia, the altitude benefited my serve. I was a bit tired in the beginning of the match but then I started to believe in my game and in my options,” Vanni was happy afterwards.
“Gaining 100 ranking points here means a lot to me, as I have to defend 80 points in two week’s time. Now I am going to prepare for the qualification of the US-Open. To finish the season inside the top 150 would be great.”
Raja Sharan Win Doubles Title
On Saturday, Indian tandem Purav Raja and Divij Sharan defeated Spanish-Japanese wild card combination of Joaquin Munoz-Hernandez and Akira Santillan 6-3, 4-6, 10-8 in one hour and 18 minutes.
“I actually didn’t expect to play the tournament here at all and eventually we had the chance to claim the title. It’s a pity that it didn’t work out in the end, but that’s tennis,” the 41-year-old Spaniard said.
The Indians claimed their third ATP Challenger title of the season, following their triumphs in Surbiton and Manchester.
“The altitude and the wind made conditions very tough. The second set wasn’t the best and in the match tie-break everything can happen,” Sharan said. The pair made it also to the semis on ATP World Tour level in Newport and Gstaad.
“We have been playing well lately. We are very happy,” Raja added.