LOUGHBOROUGH, May 28, 2018
Hiroki Moriya celebrates his third ATP Challenger crown, taking the title at the inaugural €85,000 Loughborough Trophy. The No. 8 seed from Japan beat British wild card entry James Ward, who appeared in his first title match since 2015, 6-2, 7-5 in Sunday’s singles final.
Moriya withstood 10 aces, hitting three of his own. The 27-year-old Tokyo native broke his opponent’s serve five times to secure victory in one hour and 20 minutes.
“It’s been a great week,” said Ward, who spent nine months on the sidelines in 2017 after knee surgery. “I’ve only played a few tournaments to the second round since my surgery, so it’s good progress and I’ll crack on now for the grass court season.”
Of his opponent, Ward said: “Hiroki played great today. He’s a tough boy, he returned great and served well and didn’t give me too many chances, so well done to him.”
Moriya takes the title without dropping a set and earns €12,500 in prize money as well as 90 ATP Ranking points. He is the fourth different winner from Japan this season, joining Kei Nishikori, Yoshihito Nishioka and Yasutaka Uchiyama.
Nielsen/Salisbury take doubles title
Earlier in the day, Frederik Nielsen from Denmark and Joe Salisbury clinched their first team title. The fourth seeded duo rallied past the tournament’s No. 3 Luke Bambridge and Jonny O’Mara from Great Britain 3-6, 6-3, 10-4. The encounter lasted 57 minutes.
“We really had to raise our level, they were playing great for the first set and a half and we had to come up with some really good stuff to win that second set,” explained Salisbury.
“We got a bit lucky for the first point of the tie-break, but we just got on a roll and played great for the rest of it so obviously, we’re thrilled.”