APTOS, August 12, 2019
Steve Johnson is the champion of the Nordic Naturals Challenger presented by Santa Cruz County Bank in Aptos. The No. 2 seed of the $81,240 ATP Challenger hard-court event defeated fourth favourite Dominik Köpfer of Germany 6-4, 7-6(4) in Sunday’s singles final at the Seascape Sports Club.
In their first meeting Johnson dominated the beginning of the first set by breaking Köpfer’s service game early, to go up 3-0. Johnson served three aces in the opening set with only one double fault. The 25-year-old German had three double faults in the first set, and Johnson continued to play strong to win the set 6-3. In the second set, nerves settled, both players held serve and played close throughout, taking it to a tie-breaker. The 29-year-old US-American secured victory after one hour and 39 minutes.
By lifting his fifth ATP Challenger career title, Johnson earns $10,800 in prize money as well as 90 ATP Ranking points, rising to World No. 79 in the ATP Rankings.
Earlier in the day, Marcelo Arevalo from El Salvador and Mexican Miguel Angel Reyes-Varela clinched the doubles title. The top seeds rallied past the all-US-American duo Nathan Pasha and Max Schnur 5-7, 6-3, 10-8. The final lasted one hour and 27 minutes.