ILKLEY/STARNBERG, June 18, 2022
Zizou Bergs run at the Ilkley Trophy continues. The 23-year-old qualifier from Belgium defeated Australian lucky loser Alexei Popyrin 6-2, 7-5 on Saturday to reach the singles final of the ATP Challenger Tour 125 grass-court event.
Bergs struck seven aces, saved all five break points he faced and converted three of his own seven break-point opportunities to secure victory in one hour and 31 minutes.
“I started from the qualies, it means so a lot of matches and I needed those on grass because I’m still kind of a rookie,” said Bergs.
“It’s been five years I didn’t play on grass so yeah I just think it works out with my gamestyle, the returning, the serving and in general the aggressive mindset and I’m really happy to be in this stage to get a chance to play final tomorrow, a new chance for a new title and I want to keep building on that.”
Sock outlasts Lestienne
In Sunday’s championship match, Bergs will take on No. 5 seed Jack Sock from the United States, who fought past Frenchman Constant Lestienne 7-5, 2-6, 6-4 in two hours and 18 minutes.
“Oh man, that was quite an interesting match for sure, a lot of ups and downs, some highs and lows out there for sure but scrapped out another one and happy to be in the final here. Thank you guys for coming out, I know it’s not the best weather, a bit chilly but appreciate you guys coming out on the weekend and supporting us playing out here,” said Sock.
“He’s a really tricky player. He’s fairly unorthodox with his gamestyle, super athletic and gets around these courts very very well. The guy puts you under some pressure but yeah today I was able to find a few good shots there at the end and yeah pulled through but yeah he’s got a lot of wins coming ahead if he’s playing like that.”
World No. 207 Bergs is bidding for his fourth ATP Challenger career crown, his first of the season. Sock could lift his fourth Challenger trophy, his second of 2022 following his triumph in Savannah in early May. The pair will meet for the first time.
Cash/Patten earn doubles title
There was British success in doubles on when wild cards Julian Cash and Henry Patten lifted the doubles trophy after a 7-5, 6-4 final victory over Ramkumar Ramanathan of India and John-Patrick Smith from Australia. It was the pair’s second ATP Challenger doubles title in three weeks.
Cash and Patten split €7,870 in prize money and earned 125 ATP Doubles Ranking points.
Ilkley Trophy Results