Laaksonen Claims First ATP Challenger Title Winning In Champaign

Singles ceremony with Henri Laaksonen and Taylor Fritz

CHAMPAIGN, November 22, 2015

The final day of the US-$ 50,000 JSM Challenger in Champaign has come to an end. The week was filled with wonderful players, tennis and fans.

First up in Saturday’s doubles final, the unseeded duo David O’Hare and Joe Salisbury defeated the first seeds Austin Krajicek and Nicholas Monroe in straight sets 6-1, 6-4 in only 53 minutes. O’hare and Salisbury of Ireland and Great Britain were doubles partners at the University of Memphis and reached a national ranking of No.3 and became an All-C-USA First Team duo. This is O’hare and Salisbury’s first challenger title together.

As for singles, Henri Laaksonen of Switzerland rallied back from a set down to defeat US-American top junior Taylor Fritz 4-6, 6-2, 6-2. Laaksonen, who appeared in his first Challenger final, hit ten aces and won 83% of his first service points to seal victory in one hour and 25 minutes. After lifting one trophy on the ITF Circuit on home soil last year, Laaksonen eventually gained his maiden Challenger Tour title taking away US-$ 7,200 in prize money as well as 80 ATP ranking points. The 23-year-old Swiss will drive to Waco next, playing the US-$ 15,000 Future event.

“I had an amazing week here,” said Laaksonen. “Especially in the early rounds I was struggling, I always lost the first set, and somehow I started to play always better and better the longer the match went and today I played an unbelievable match,” the Swiss was pleased with his performance.

Henri Laaksonen

Henri Laaksonen

Because Fritz took second, the USTA Australian Open Wild Card will go to Noah Rubin, the leader of the challenge’s point board. The 18-year-old from California will reach a new career high on Monday, ranked on 290th position.

“I feel like I wasn’t playing well the whole match, even when I won the first set,” Fritz told after playing his third ATP Challenger final in the past two months. “I got pretty lucky in the first set to win it, because I saved a lot of break points and then was able to convert on the only break point I had. And then the second set, I had my chances early and then after I blew those break point chances, my serve was horrendous, everything fell apart, I was just playing awful.”

Singles – Finals

H. Laaksonen (SUI) d T. Fritz (USA) 46 62 62
Doubles – Finals

D. O’hare (IRL) / J. Salisbury (GBR) d [1] A. Krajicek (USA) / N. Monroe (USA) 61 64