LEXINGTON, August 2, 2015
When the term “Lucky Loser” is used it doesn’t necessarily describe the player in literal terms. That is exactly the case for Yasutaka Uchiyama, a 22 year old from Japan, who has caught the entire tournament off guard as the underdog who continues to win, and win against the toughest players in the field of the ATP Challenger in Lexington.
Uchiyama beat another strong opponent, the #4 seed American Bjorn Fratangelo, in the semifinal round, 7-5 4-6 6-3. In addition the Fratangelo, Uchiyama has defeated the #1 seed, James Ward, and the #5 seed Yoshihito Nishioka to make it to the finals.
This surge of talent isn’t “luck”, its pure skill and determination coming on in the right moment. Although he lost in the qualifying round to Noah Rubin, he was selected into the main draw as the “Lucky Loser”, a term that is used for this main draw slot in USTA Pro Circuit tournament events.
When asked about how it feels to upset another opponent Uchiyama said, “It’s a surprise for me. This is my first Challenger tournament final and I’m coming from the Lucky Loser, it’s amazing.”
Uchiyama moves on to play John Millman from Australia, who is the #2 seed in the tournament. Milman defeated Mitchell Krueger in straight sets, 6-3 6-2.
When asked about making it to the finals and playing Uchiyama, Millman said, “It feels good. That’s obviously the goal of this tournament, is to make it deep into the weekend and hopefully win. My opponent (Uchiyama) is playing well and having a great tournament. It’s going to be a tough match tomorrow, he’s obviously the giant killer this week so I’m looking forward to it.”
In the men’s doubles final, the tournament #4 seeded team Carsten Ball of Australia and Brydan Klein of Great Britain took home the championship trophy. They defeated the #3 seeds, Dean O’Brien and Ruan Roelofse of South Africa, in straight sets, 6-4 7-6.