BAOTOU, September 1, 2019
Top seed James Duckworth clinched the title of the 2019 International Challenger Baotou. The 27-year-old Australian defeated Sasikumar Mukund of India 6-4, 6-3 in Sunday’s singles final of the $54,160 clay-court event.
Duckworth, who only dropped one set en route to the championship match, struck nine aces and won 88 per cent of his first-service points to seal victory in one hour and three minutes.
🙌🙌 James Duckworth is the champ in Baotou!
— ATP Challenger Tour (@ATPChallenger) September 1, 2019
“Today’s match was very tough, we were both serving very well and it was difficult to win return points. I was happy I was able to make some good returns at important moments in order to get those two vital service breaks. I’m happy with how I was able to serve throughout the match and that was key in me winning,” Duckworth said.
“I’m very happy to have won the title here in Baotou. It’s not easy when you’re the number 1 seed and going into every match as the favourite. I thought I dealt with the pressure quite well and winning the tournament this week has given me important ranking points.”
By lifting his second ATP Challenger trophy of the season following his triumph in Bangkok, Duckworth took away from China $7,200 in prize money as well as 80 ATP Ranking points. It was the eighth career title for the World No. 131.
Later in the day, Ji Sung Nam and Min-Kyu Song of South Korea took the doubles title. The second seeds beat Russian veteran Teymuraz Gabashvili and Sasikumar Mukund 7-6(3), 6-2. The final lasted one hour and 13 minutes.