VILLA MARIA/STARNBERG, September 25, 2022
Nicolas Kicker was crowned champion of the inaugural Challenger Dove Men+Care Villa Maria. The 30-year-old Argentine defeated his compatriot Mariano Navone 7-5, 6-3 in Sunday’s singles final of the $53,120 clay-court event.
In front of packed stands at the Sport Social Club in Villa Maria, Kicker capitalized on six of his nine break-point opportunities and won 57 per cent of the total points played to seal victory in two hours and three minutes.
Champion again 🙌🇦🇷
— ATP Challenger Tour (@ATPChallenger) September 25, 2022
“It was a tough match, as Mariano played at a very high level,” said Kicker. “A few points made the difference but I was very focused.”
Kicker claimed his fourth ATP Challenger career title, his first since 2017 in Buenos Aires and first since returning from a nearly two-year match-fixing ban. The former World No. 78 from Merlo became the highest ranked player ever banned for the offense in 2018 and will re-enter the Top 200 at No. 183.
Kicker, a four-time winner on the ITF World Tennis Tour last year, earned $7,200 in prize money as well as 80 ATP Ranking points.