YOKOHAMA, March 3, 2019
Soonwoo Kwon of South Korea captured his maiden ATP Challenger title by winning the 7th edition of the Yokohama Keio Challenger held at Mamushidani Tennis Courts of the Keio University Hiyoshi Campus in Yokohama City. The No. 11 seed upset the tournament’s No. 2 Oscar Otte from Germany 7-6(4), 6-3 in Sunday’s singles final.
After a first-round bye, Kwon beat Japanese wild card entry Masamichi Imamura, fifth seeded German Mats Moraing, compatriot Duckhee Lee and third favourite Yuichi Sugita of Japan en route to the title match. In the final, which was played indoors due to bad weather, the 21-year-old struck 10 aces, winning 86 per cent of his first service points. Kwon didn’t face a break point, converting one of his own four chances to prevail after one hour and 15 minutes.
“Thank you everyone for coming, I’m very happy to win my very first challenger title. I hope this becomes my first step towards competing in grand slams. Thank you,” Kwon said during his on-court speech.
Kwon collects $7,200 in prize money as well as 80 ATP-Ranking points. He is projected to move up more than 50 spots to World No. 170 on Monday.
Echargui/Mansouri win doubles crown
Earlier in the day, Moez Echargui and Skander Mansouri clinched their first ATP Challenger doubles title. The all-Tunisian duo, who entered the tournament through their ITF World Tennis Ranking, battled past the Australian top seeds Max Purcell and Luke Saville, winning 7-6(6), 6-7(3), 10-7. The encounter lasted one hour and 48 minutes.
“What a week it was from being uncertain whether to get in the doubles draw or no to winning the tournament. It was a great experience and a pleasure sharing the court with Skander Mansouri . We battled our way through in every match till the end, we believed in ourselves and it paid off,” Echargui posted on facebook.
“It was our first appearance at a challenger tour event in doubles and first title, can’t ask for more.
Many positive points this week and a lot to learn from, excited for what’s coming next .
I would like to thank everyone for the support and the great messages. Great week in Japan, till next time”