Johnson Crowned Bendigo Challenger Champion

BENDIGO, January 18, 2020

Steve Johnson is the champion of the Bendigo Challenger held at Fosterville Gold Tennis Centre in Bendigo. The No. 4 seed of the $54,160 hard-court event defeated the tournament’s No. 3 Stefano Travaglia of Italy 7-6(2), 7-6(3) in Saturday’s singles final.

After a first-round bye, Johnson beat Markos Kalovelonis of Greece, Calum Puttergill from Australia, Frenchman Harold Mayot and Andrea Vavassori from Italy en route to the title match.

The World No. 81 fired 13 aces in the final and won 85 per cent of his first-service points to prevail after one hour and 41 minutes.

“It’s always great to be the last guy standing at an event, and I’m happy to do it here and keep that momentum going,” said Johnson, who is scheduled to take on Roger Federer in the first round of the Australian Open on Monday afternoon in Rod Laver Arena.

“I’m excited. Any chance you get to play one of those guys it’s fun. It’s going to be in a big stadium, big crowd, and regardless of the weather I know we’re playing because of the roof.”

By lifting his sixth ATP Challenger Tour trophy, Johnson pocketed $7,240 in prize money as well as 80 ATP Ranking points.

Earlier in the day, Nikola Cacic, who was part of Serbia’s winning team at the ATP Cup in Sydney, claimed the doubles title alongside Denys Molchanov from the Ukraine. The unseeded duo defeated second favourites Marcelo Arevalo from El Salvador and Jonny O’Mara of Great Britain 7-6(3), 6-4. The encounter lasted one hour and 24 minutes.