TALLAHASSEE, May 3, 2015
Argentina’s Facundo Arguello won his third ATP Challenger title on Saturday, as he defeated rising American Frances Tiafoe in an epic three-set battle.
It was 17-year-old Tiafoe, the fourth youngest American to reach a Challenger final, who came out swinging, taking the first set in just 25 minutes.
No.5 seed Arguello fought back in the second, pushing Tiafoe to a tiebreak. Down 0-3, he came back to win it 7-5 and advance to a third set.
The third set looked like it would be all the Argentine. Arguello took a quick 4-0 lead before the young American rallied to level the match at 4-4. A break and a final hold from Arguello gave him the third set and the win after two hours and 19 minutes.
This marks Arguello’s third Challenger title, and first of the year.
“It was very, very difficult,” Arguello said. “(Tiafoe) plays really good and it was a real battle this time. Playing here was incredible. This was my second time playing in Tallahassee and at least this time I could be a champion.”
Despite the loss, Tiafoe was happy with his run this week and of course clinching a wild card for the main draw of the French Open.
“It was a great match,” saidTiafoe, who seemed to struggle physically in the final set. 15 high level matches in three weeks were taking ist toll. “I think we both played well and we got the crowd really into it. This is definitely one of the best Challengers you can play. I’m happy to have gone this far.”
The 17-year-old was ranked 519 three weeks ago and will break into the top 300.
Dennis Novikov and Julio Peralta won their maiden doubles title together, defeating India’s Somdev Devvarman and Sanam Singh 6-2, 6-4 in 62 minutes.
The former UCLA star and his Chilean partner reached the final in Savannah last week before making their way to Tallahassee and claiming the crown this weekend.