Kukushkin Captures Irving Tennis Classic Crown

Mikhail Kukushkin and Matteo Berrettini (photo: mclassicstudio)

IRVING, March 19, 2018

Mikhail Kukushkin is the champion of the $150,000 Irving Tennis Classic held on hard courts of the Four Seasons Golf and Sports Club at Las Colinas. The 30-year-old from Kazakhstan, who finished runner-up to Aljaz Bedene last year, edged past #NextGenATP Italian Matteo Berrettini 6-2, 3-6, 6-1 in Sunday’s singles final.

Kukushkin won 78 per cent of his first service points and broke his opponent’s serve five times to prevail after one hour and 43 minutes. By lifting his 14th ATP Challenger crown, his first since 2016, the Volgograd native took away $21,600 in prize money as well las 125 ATP ranking points.

“Thank you so much, definitely I feel really good and excited. This is my second year in a row. Last year I was a finalist, this year I won. Definitely I like this place, I love being here in Dallas at the Four Seasons Resort. I love playing here, with the amazing facilities, and definitely I’m very happy with the way I played and the fact that I won,” Kukushkin said and added: “I hope you enjoyed it and I hope to see you next year.”

Following his triumph in Bergamo last month, Berrettini appeared in his second final of the season. The 21-year-old from Rome breaks into the top 100 for the first time in his career.
“It was tough playing against him (Kukushkin), but I did my best, and he deserved it,” Berrettini said.
“I would like to thank everybody…there were a lot of people here to watch. I had a great tournament and a great week, and you guys helped me a lot, so I would like to thank everybody.

“Actually, when I arrived here I was a little bit sick, so I didn’t expect to reach the final. I’m happy for that.”

Petzschner/Peya clinch doubles crown

Earlier in the day, Philipp Petzschner from Germany and Austrian Alexander Peya took the doubles title. The duo defeated Radu Albot of Moldova and Matthew Ebden from Australia 6-2, 6-4. The final lasted 67 minutes.

Peya Petzschner

Philipp Petzschner and Alexander Peya – photo: mclassicstudio

“The whole week has been a pleasure for me. This is my second home, as you know. I love this tournament. Thanks to everyone who helped out and hopefully I can come back a couple of years more,” Petzschner commented.

“It’s a fantastic tournament, they really take such good care of us players…there’s not much more we can ask for. Of course, the week is even better for us when we win it, but I’m not just saying that because we won,” Peya added.