TASHKENT, October 17, 2015
Constant rain forced postponement of the semi-finals of the US-$ 125,000 Tashkent Challenger to Saturday. Unfortunately, the weather didn’t improve and consequently all remaining matches had to be played indoors.
The tournament’s top-four-seeds made their way into the semis with number one favourite Denis Istomin beating Yuki Bhambri 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 and number three seed Lukas Lacko gaining a 7-6, 4-6, 7-6 victory over Ricardas Berankis.
In the following final the local hero took his 10th ATP Challenger trophy through a comfortable 6-3, 6-4 win over Lacko in one hour and six minutes. Istomin fired 10 aces and won 90% of his first service points to eventually lift his ninth trophy on home soil, following three victories in Bukhara, three in Karshi, one in Samarkand and now two in Tashkent. The 29-year-old, who was born in Russia, already captured his maiden title on the ATP World Tour this season, winning the grass court tournament in Nottingham.
“It feels special, it’s important for me to win at home than anywhere else,” said Istomin. “It was a very tight match and I was very happy to play indoors , but the key today was my serve.”
“It would have been a different story if we played outdoors, but I have to give credit to Denis who served very well and I din’t have a chance. I was also tired from playing back to back matches,” said Lacko who had won here last year.
In a post match interview Istomin said that he is going to travel to Moscow next hoping to do well. ” I have had lots of njuries in the beginning of the year but the win at Nottingham changed things”, said Istomin . “I want to start preparing early for the next year as it also is the Olympic year”, the world number 67 added and takes away US-$ 18,000 in prize money as well as 125 ATP ranking points.