QUITO/STARNBERG, September 20, 2021
Facundo Mena celebrated his first title win since 2019 by lifting the trophy of the inaugural Dove Men & Care Quito Challenger. The ATP Challenger Tour clay-court swing in South America kicked off in style with the $52,080 tournament held in 2,400 metres altitude at the Arrayanes Country Club in Quito, Ecuador.
The No. 6 seed from Argentina defeated Gonzalo Lama of Chile 6-4, 6-4 in Sunday’s singles final. Mena struck 12 aces, saved both break points he faced and capitalized on two of his own four break-point opportunities to secure victory in one hour and 25 minutes.
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“It’s an incredible feeling to win this title. I didn’t know if I’d get back to this moment and it is very emotional for me,” said Mena, who claimed his second ATP Challenger career title following his triumph in Como, Italy two years ago.
“I received a lot of calls and messages from people who know me. It was very exciting. Yesterday was very emotional, today I felt a little emptier here (pointing to his belly) and I was able to succeed,” explained Mena, who earned $7,200 in prize money as well as 80 ATP Ranking points.
After his semi-final win on Saturday, the 28-year-old Buenos Aires native broke down in tears for the memory of his father Gabriel, who died a year and a half ago. “I dedicate the title to my dad who is watching me from heaven, so this is for him.”
World No. 417 Lama collected $4,240 in prize money and 48 ATP Ranking points.
“I congratulate my great friend Facu,” the runner-up said. “I am happy for you, we have both gone through difficult times. We were at my house in Santiago a couple of months ago dreaming about this moment and look where we are. If I had preferred to lose a final, it would have been to you.”
Both players will next compete in this week’s Ambato La Gran Ciudad Challenger in Ambato, Ecuador.