Almagro wins first Challenger title since 2004

Nicolas Almagro wins in Genova

GENOVA, September 14, 2015

After Sunday’s washout at the € 106,500 AON Open Challenger in Genova, the finalists met on Monday morning to compete for the title.

Seventh seed Nicolas Almagro defeated the tournament’s number five Marco Cecchinato, winning 6-7, 6-1, 6-4. After losing the tie-break of the opening set, the 30-year-old Spaniard found his rythm in the second frame, which only lasted 28 minutes. Almagro fired 11 aces, won 78% of his first service points and gained the decisive break in the third game of the final set. The former world number 9 converted his first match point to seal victory in one hour and 55 minutes.

“I want to congratulate Marco, as he is part of the future of Italian tennis,” Almagro told during the ceremony. “The tournament here is great. On Challenger level, I have never seen so many people attending the matches. I am really happy with this victory.”

The Italian runner-up said: “Unfortunately I lost but I have to congratulate Nico, who played a great match. It was a good week for me. The tournament here is quite extraordinary with a good organization and a lot of spectators. From tomorrow on, I will be ranked inside the top 100, which is a milestone in my career.”

Almgro and Cecchinato after the match point

Almgro and Cecchinato after the match point

Almagro lifted his first ATP Challenger trophy since winning the title in Kiev in 2004, his fifth overall. The man from Murcia earns € 15,300 in prize money as well as 125 ATP ranking points returning to the top 100 on 84th position. He will remain on the Challenger Tour, being 6th seed at the € 106,500 event in Szczecin starting this Monday.