STARNBERG/ORTISEI, November 22, 2020
Ilya Ivashka of Belarus is the champion of the 2020 Sparkasse Challenger Val Gardena Südtirol held behind closed doors at the Tennis Club Ortisei. The No. 2 of the €44,820 ATP Challenger hard-court event battled past No. 5 seed Antoine Hoang of France in 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(3) in Sunday’s singles final.
Ivashka fired 15 aces and won 80 per cent of his first-service points to seal victory in two hours and 18 minutes.
“It has been an amazing week for me,” Ivashka said. “I played very well here and I am very happy to win this tournament. It was a very nice place to spend time and to play tennis. This is my favourite surface here. It is not easy to play because of the altitude but I served and returned well. Only one or two points made the difference in the end today.”
By lifting his fourth ATP Challenger trophy, his second of the season following his triumph in Istanbul, Turkey, Ivashka took away from South Tyrol €6,190 in prize money as well as 80 ATP Ranking points. The 26-year-old Minsk native will climb to World No. 107 on Monday. It was Ivashka’s last tournament of the season.
“It was a tough battle from the first to the last point. He plays very solid and fast. It was tough to play my game. It was close in the end but I enjoyed my week here. The place here is really nice with the mountains and the nature. I know what I have to improve for next year and I hope to come back,” said Hoang, who also advanced to the semi-finals at Val Gardena last year.
“Now it’s time for holidays with my family and my girl friend. Then I will start to prepare for the next season.” The 25-year-old Aix-en-Provence resident pocketed €3,650 in prize money as well as 48 ATP Ranking points.
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