Youzhny downs Becker to capture Eckental crown

Winner and runner-up in Eckental: Mikhail Youzhny and Benjamin Becker

ECKENTAL, November 8, 2015

Mikhail Youzhny is the champion of the 19th edition of the € 35,000 ATP Challenger Bauer Watertechnology Cup in Eckental. The 33-year-old Russian beat fourth seed Benjamin Becker in Sunday’s final, winning 7-5, 6-3.

Youzhny capitalized on his first break point in the seventh game of the opening set but couldn’t serve out in the tenth game when Becker fired a cross court forehand winner to even score at 5-5. The former world number 8 from Moscow, who appeared in his first Challenger final since lifting the trophy in Samarkand in 2000, gained another break to eventually clinch the first set after 47 minutes in the twelfth game.

Youzhny also had the better start into the second frame, breaking the German’s serve in the opening game. The current world number 153, was more solid on his second serve, winning 68% of the points. Youzhny converted his first match point to seal victory after one hour and 19 minutes.

Watch the match point:

Eckental’s 2015 champion was understandably happy, clinching his first tour title since his win in Valencia in 2013. “It was a good week for me. Every match I played better and better. Today, Benjamin didn’t serve so well, so he gave me a good chance,” Youzhny told Tennis TourTalk after taking his second ATP Challenger career title. It was also Youzhny’s third crown on German soil.

“I always achieved good results here with wins in Stuttgart and Munich. I also made it to the final in Halle,” the Russian told and added that his participation at next week’s tournament in Bratislava could not be his last tournament for this season. “I do not know yet. I just want to stay healthy and achieve some good results.” Youzhny takes away € 5,035 in prize money as well as 80 ATP ranking points.

Mikhail Youzhny captured his second ATP Challenger crown

Mikhail Youzhny captured his second ATP Challenger crown

Tennis TourTalk also spoke to Benjamin Becker:

Becker runner-up Eckental 2015

Earlier the day, Ruben Bemelmans and Philipp Petzschner took the doubles title, winning 7-5, 6-2 against Ken and Neal Skupski in 61 minutes.

Watch the match point:

“We returned better than them, played more aggressive and were very solid at the net,” Bemelmans told after he defended at least his doubles title in Eckental. In singles, he lost in the semi-finals to Becker. “I also played well in singles, but yesterday Benjamin was just too good,” the Belgian stated, winning his second team title with the German.

“We are now 8-0 in doubles. We played two times and won all of our matches. We only dropped the first set, we have ever played together. We fit good together, having a lot of fun, which is very important for both of us and I hope we can continue like this next week,” Petzschner added and will team up with Bemelmans at the ATP Challenger in Mouilleron next week.

Next season, the two time doubles Grand Slam champion from Germany will build a pair with Austrian Alexander Peya. “We played together in the past and achieved some good results. After that, I put the focus a bit more on the singles competition. Now it’s time to get back together in order to do some damage next year,” Petzschner explained. Bemelmans is still looking forward to the Davis Cup final.

Doubles champions: Ruben Bemelmans and Philipp Petzschner

Doubles champions: Ruben Bemelmans and Philipp Petzschner

More than 6,000 spectators attended the Bauer Cup in Eckental this week. It is the only indoors Challenger event in in Germany. The title sponsor has already announced to extend the parternship but a 20th edition is uncertain. Due to an increase in prize money and higher standards set by the ATP, the tournament’s future will be decided in the next couple of weeks.