McGee Claims Maiden Challenger Title Winning In Cary

James McGee (photo: Atlantic Tire Championships)

CARY, September 19, 2016

Qualifier James McGee upset the tournament’s eighth seed Ernesto Escobedo in a 1-6, 6-1, 6-4 victory to win his first ATP Challenger title and become the singles champion of the 2016 Atlantic Tire Championships.

This was the pair’s first meeting. McGee, ranked No. 257 in the world, becomes the sixth qualifying player to win an ATP Challenger event in 2016. McGee struggled in the first set, winning just 13 per cent of the points off Escobedo’s first serve, but fought back to win the match in 96 minutes.

“It’s a dream for me to finally get a Challenger title,” McGee told “Last year, I was in the final in two events, in San Luis Potosi and Savannah, and it didn’t quite happen there. In the middle of the year I had a surgery on my knee and it was a blow to my confidence. I wasn’t feeling as good as I knew I could be. But in the last few months I’ve been feeling better and playing better.

“Coming into this event, I thought I was playing well but I never thought I’d win the whole thing. To win eight matches in a row is amazing.”

The 29-year-old from Ireland won four titles on the ITF Pro Circuit. He lifted his last trophy in 2013. McGee takes away $7,200 in prize money as well as 90 ATP ranking points.

The doubles second seed of Philip Bester and Peter Polansky ousted Stefan Kozlov and Austin Krajicek to become the doubles champions for the 2016 Atlantic Tire Championships. Bester and Polansky, who were semi-finalists in the 2015 tournament, took just 61 minutes to capture the title. This is Bester and Polansky’s second 2016 Challenger title.