TE ANAU, January 7, 2020
Luke Saville is the first singles champion on the 2020 men’s ITF World Tennis Tour. The 25-year-old Australian captured the title of the ITF World Tennis Tour M15 Te Anau, the first ITF Pro event in New Zealand for seven years.
The tournament’s organizers had to deal with difficult weather conditions. Rain forced the cancellation of all tennis action on Wednesday and to help dry the four courts on Thursday, a helicopter was used to create downdraft.
— Shuichi Sekiguchi (@sshuichi0715) January 1, 2020
“All the players were out filming the helicopter [hovering over the courts] … they’d never seen it before,” Te Anau Tennis Club president Greg Sheppard said, quoted by The World News.
Saville, who didn’t drop a set all week, advanced to the title match with wins over his compatriots Alexey Shtengelov and Jesse Delaney as well as Alexander Klintcharov of New Zealand and Shuichi Sekiguchi from Japan.
Saville won Sunday’s final following a rain delay, against Andrea Vavassori of Italy 6-3, 6-1. The World No. 321 capitalized on five of his 13 break point chances to secure victory in one hour and five minutes.
“I felt like I came out and played well today. It was a bit breezy but I executed well and I am happy to get the win today,” Saville was pleased with his performance.
Saville ends title drought
The Barmera native lifted his eighth career trophy on the ITF Pro Circuit, his first since the 2015 Ursula Pro Tennis Classic held in the United States. Saville took away from New Zealand $2,160 in prize money as well as 10 ATP Ranking points.
Within an hour or two of playing the final Saville, Vavassori and Swiss player Luca Margaroli, who clinched the Te Anau doubles title alongside the Italian on Saturday, were heading to Queenstown Airport. Saville is travelling to Melbourne to compete in the ATP Challenger in Bendigo, while Vavassori and Margaroli will play at the ATP Challenger in Noumea, New Caledonia.