RIO DE JANEIRO/STARNBERG, December 19, 2021
Kaichi Uchida and Nicolas Alvarez Varona are both bidding for their first ATP Challenger crown when the Japanese and the Spaniard will go head-to-head in Sunday’s singles final of the Rio de Janeiro Tennis Classic.
World No. 371 Alvarez Varona knocked out Argentine Nicolas Kicker, second seed of the $52,080 hard-court event, 6-2, 7-5 on Saturday. The 20-year-old from Burgos sent down four aces and won 82 per cent of his first-service points to prevail after one hour and 44 minutes.
No. 8 seed Uchida ended the run of Brazilian wild card entry Gabriel Decamps, winning 6-2, 6-3 in the second semi-final match. The 27-year-old from Osaka broke his rival’s serve four times to seal victory in one hour and 14 minutes.
Alvarez Varona, a winner of two titles on the ITF World Tennis Tour, and Uchida, who lifted eight trophies on the ITF Pro Circuit, will meet for the first time.
Luz/Matos capture doubles title
Later in the day, Orlando Luz and Rafael Matos captured the doubles title of the Rio de Janeiro Tennis Classic. The top seeds from Brazil defeated the tournament’s No. 2 seeds US-American James Cerretani and home favourite Fernando Romboli 6-3, 7-6(2). The encounter lasted one hour and 33 minutes.
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“We ended the year in the best possible way, with a title. It was a week of overcoming difficulties, I had problems with my back after a singles match and I had the help of the tournament physiotherapists to recover. Now I will enjoy a few days of rest and then getting ready for the next season,” said Matos.
“I am very happy to end the year with another title, even more special winning here in Brazil. It was a great week,” added Luz, who won his fourth Challenger title alongside Matos in 2021. They triumphed in Concepcion, Chile, Tallahassee, United States, as well as in Cordenons, Italy this season.
Matos and Luz split $3,100 in prize money and earned 80 ATP Doubles Ranking points.