ORTISEI, November 15, 2015
Val Gardena, a valley in South Tyrol, that is mainly known for its skiing, has also a long tradition in tennis. After organizing the ITF Women’s Tournament for many years, the € 64,000 Sparkassen ATP Challenger took place in Ortisei this week.
Ricardas Berankis claimed his first title of the season on Sunday, winning the final against Rajeev Ram 7-6, 6-4 in the pair’s second tour meeting (head to head 1-0 Berankis). The top-seed from Lithuania handled the aggressive game of the tournament’s number three from the United States well, withstood ten aces and showed a decent performance from the baseline. Ram lost the opening frame in the tie-break and Berankis gained the decisive break in the third game of the second set, when the 31-year-old from Denver produced his sixth double fault. The world number 82 served out after one hour and 28 minutes to take his first title of the season.
Watch the match point:
Berankis, who made his first appearance in Ortisei, takes away € 9,200 in prize money as well as 90 ATP ranking points. “This was my best match in the entire week. Rajeev is a great server and also returns very well, I was a bit lucky in the tie-break but that’s how tennis is. I tried to avoid easy mistakes and I am very pleased with the result,” the winner told afterwards.
“This victory here is important for me, as I confirmed my points for the Australian Open,” Berankis told and will play his last tournament of the year in Brescia next week, before he can enjoy the off-season. Ram has finished his season in Ortisei.
Earlier the day, Austrians Maximilian Neuchrist and Tristan-Samuel Weissborn captured the doubles title, winning the final against the Croatian combination of Nikola Mektic and Antonio Sancic 7-6, 6-3 in one hour and seven minutes.
“This has been my biggest win so far,” Weissborn told after he had lifted his very first trophy on the ATP Challenger Tour. “It’s great to win the title together with one of my best friends,” he added. “Of course we will team up in the future again. We will plan the next season together and hopefully more titles will follow,” Neuchrist said and both will finish this year in Brescia next week.