LEXINGTON, August 1, 2016
Ernesto Escobedo won a thrilling third-set tiebreak with fellow US-American, Frances Tiafoe to cap off his first-career ATP Challenger Title on Sunday afternoon, as he was crowned the 2016 Kentucky Bank Tennis Champion in front of a great crowd at the Hilary J. Boone Varsity Tennis Center in Lexington.
In the first set of the men’s final, Escobedo took an early lead on Tiafoe, breaking at 2-1 for a 3-1 lead, and would see the rest of the set out with four successive holds, fighting off two break points in two separate service games along the way. In the second set, Tiafor took an early break off Escobedo, breaking him in the first game of the set, before consolidating it for a 4-1 lead. In the 4-2 service game for Tiafoe, he was broken by Escobedo to level the set and send the match to a second-set tiebreak.
Tiafoe took an early break and 3-0 lead in the tiebreak before earning it back at 5-4 to level the tiebreak at five all. After a changeover at 6-6, Tiafoe broke on Escobedo’s serve for a 7-6 lead, and then served out the next point to push the match to a third and deciding set.
In the third set, both players held all six service games, with Tiefoe fending off three break points at 0-40 at one point in the 3-3 game, but was able to use his serving power to take the 4-3 game and eventually push the match to a tiebreak.
Ernesto broke first on Tiafoe’s opening-tiebreak serve to give him the 1-0 lead, and then Tiafoe broke back for 2-1 to put the tiebreak back on level terms. Escobedo then broke for 3-1 and served out his two points for a 5-1 lead. After a couple of service holds for Tiafoe, Ecsobedo closed out his first-career ATP Challenger title to win the tiebreak, 7-3, and take the match 6-2, 6-7 (6), 7-6 (3)
Krajicek Claims Women’s Title
The women’s title was also claimed in three sets as Michaella Krajicek from the Netherlands defeated Arina Rodionova, 6-0, 2-6, 6-2 on the main stadium courts in Lexington. In the first set, Kraijcek won all six games after opening the match with a break of serve, and then doing that three times, all with consolidation and serving at a high level to take the opening set, 6-0.
In the second set Kraijcek dropped the frame 6-2, after being broken two times by Rodionova, who was not broken at all in the second set by Kraijcek. The 6-2 second set in favor forced a decisive third set on the stadium courts for the championship.
The set was level at 1-1 before Kraijcek broke first to take a 3-1 lead and then consolidated it for the hold of the break. Rodionova was not done, as she broke back to get the set on level serving at 3-4, but Kraijcek immediately broke back to make it 4-5 and force Rodionova to serve to stay in the match. Kraijcek broke at 30 to give herself the championship over Rodionova, 6-0, 2-6, 6-2 and claim her first Lexington Challenger title.
Saturday, July 31 – Results
Men’s Singles – Final
Ernesto Escobedo (USA) def. (7) Frances Tiafoe (USA), 6-2, 6-7 (6), 7-6 (3)
Women’s Singles – Final
Michaella Krajicek (NED) def. Ariana Rodionova (AUS) 6-0, 2-6, 6-2