Gomez Wins Thrilling Final, Defends Salinas Challenger Crown

Emilio Gomez (photo: SalinasOpenEC/Armando Prado)


Home favourite Emilio Gomez successfully defended his title at the Challenger de Salinas Copa Banco Guayaquil presented by CNT. The top seed of the $53,120 ATP Challenger Tour hard-court tournament saved four match points to outlast first-time finalist Nicolas Moreno de Alboran from the United States 6-7(2), 7-6(4), 7-5 in a thrilling championship match on Saturday evening in Salinas.

Gomez overcame a set and a break deficit and capitalized on eight of his 16 break-point chances to secure victory in three hours and 16 minutes.

“I still don’t know what’s going on. I don’t know what happened in this match. So many match points, so many breaks against me, always behind without playing my best tennis, but it is what we have been working on with my whole team. It’s living in the moment, being in the present and I really can’t believe it,” said Gomez, who captured his third ATP Challenger career crown.

“It stayed focused and try to find solutions, but this here doesn’t happen very often. I have no words to describe this moment, it is impressive.”

The 30-year-old Ecuadorian pocketed $7,200 in prize money as well as 80 ATP Ranking points. Gomez is projected to reach a new career-high ranking of World No. 130 on Monday.

Bhambri/Myneni prevail in doubles

In other action, Yuki Bhambri and Saketh Myneni of India claimed the doubles title. The unseeded duo upset the tournament’s No. 2 seeds JC Aragone from the United States and Roberto Quiroz of Ecuador 4-6, 6-3, 10-7. The encounter lasted one hour and four minutes.

By winning their first Challenger team title, Bhambri and Myneni split $3,100 in prize money and earned 80 ATP Doubles Ranking points.