Newport Beach: Kwiatkowski Wins First Challenger Title

NEWPORT BEACH, February 3, 2020

Thai-Son Kwiatkowski delighted his home crowd at the Oracle Challenger Series Newport Beach presented by RBC Wealth Management by winning his first title on the ATP Challenger Tour. The 24-year-old US-American defeated Daniel Elahi Galan from Colombia 6-4, 6-1 with an impressive display of power and serving in Sunday’s singles final at the Newport Beach Tennis Club.

“I almost didn’t come to this tournament,” said Kwiatkowski during the trophy ceremony, quoted by the Oracle Challenger Series website. “I had a really bad week of training last week and my girlfriend dumped me two weeks ago so to win this is amazing.”

Kwiatkowski, who knocked out No. 6 seed Brayden Schnur from Canada, No. 15 seed Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan and fourth favourite Steve Johnson from the United States en route to the championship match, won 80 per cent of both his first and second serve points to prevail after only 57 minutes.

“I feel like I served really well this week. When I serve well, I’m going to be tough to beat. I put a lot of work into it last week, so it’s amazing for it to fall into place like that.”

The World No. 181 from Charlottesville took away from California $21,600 in prize money as well as 125 ATP Ranking points.

“It means so much. It’s been a difficult last few months emotionally. Just to come and play well this week was the only goal, and to win it is unbelievable,” Kwiatkowski said.

On Saturday, Ariel Behar of Uruguay and Gonzalo Escobar from Ecuador clinched the doubles title. The top seeds defeated last week’s champions at the Open Blot Rennes, Antonio Sancic from Croatia and Austria’s Tristan-Samuel Weissborn, 6-2, 6-4. The encounter lasted 56 minutes. The triumph is the pair’s seventh together in the last calendar year.