BASTAD, July 10, 2016
Horacio Zeballos is the champion of the inaugural €42,500 Bastad Challenger, held at the same venue of the SkiStar Swedish Open one week ahead of the ATP 250 event.
The second seed from Argentina defeated Roberto Carballés-Baena in Saturday’s final 6-3, 6-4. Zeballos saved four of the five break points he faced, capitalizing on three of his own to prevail in one hour and 29 minutes.
“This is the best preparation for next week. Playing two weeks in a row with the same balls on the same courts in same conditions is perfect for us. I hope that this competition will continue next year. I will come back,” Zeballos said taking away €6,150 in prize money as well as 90 ATP ranking points.
During the ceremony he was joined by his wife and his two months old daughter Emma. “Obviously this victory is for her. Sometimes she cried during the match but not because of me, as I was playing well,” the 31-year-old Argentine laughed. He has become the 11th player to claim 15 ATP Challenger titles.
“It’s perfect to have a Challenger leading up to an ATP World Tour event. At the moment, our goal with the Challenger is to continue to establish it,” tournament director Henrik Odervall stated. “We may increase the prize money in the future, but will still stay at the Challenger level.”
Zeballos will play his fellow countryman Facundo Bagnis in the opening round of the SkiStar Swedish Open ATP 250 event in Bastad. Carballés-Baena will also stay in Sweden, taking on German veteran Michael Berrer. The tournament’s top seed will be world number 14 David Ferrer from Spain.