CARBALLES BAENA PICKS UP NINTH CAREER CHALLENGER TITLE IN TUNIS




Roberto Carballes Baena clinched his first Challenger title of the year on Saturday after a 6-1, 6-1 victory over Gijs Brouwer.


The win capped off a dominant week for the Spaniard in Tunis, dropping just one set on his way to the trophy.


The 29-year-old, who is 20-11 on the clay this season, will now take on Germany’s Oscar Otte in the first round of Roland Garros on Tuesday.


Carballes Baena’s opponent, Gijs Brouwer, featured in his first Challenger final in Tunis but fell short at the final hurdle.


Brouwer was an impressive winner over last week’s Zagreb Challenger titlist Filip Misolovic in the semi-finals before his final defeat.


The Dutchman will reach a career high ranking of world No. 231 from Monday.


Also on Saturday, Sergey Fomin secured his first Challenger title in Shmykent after a 7-6, 6-3 win over former world No. 33 Robin Haase.





The Uzbekistani came through qualifying in Kazakhstan, stringing together seven victories in total to lift the trophy.


Haase was hoping to add a 14th Challenger title to his name in Shmykent but was unable to halt the fairy-tale run of the world No. 838.


Fomin will now reach a new career-high ranking of world No. 404 from Monday.


While Roland Garros kicked off on Sunday, the final of the Challenger event in the Italian town of Francavilla Al Mare was also played.


The all-Italian final featured No. 4 seed Matteo Arnaldi and world No. 512 Francesco Maestrelli who were both vying for their first Challenger titles.


Ultimately it was the 21-year-old Arnaldi who was triumphant on home soil with a 6-3, 6-7(7), 6-4 victory in just shy of three hours.





Arnaldi served for the match at 5-3 in the second set and squandered two match points in the tiebreak, but Maestrelli had the answers.


The third set was a tight tussle with both players exchanging breaks of serve before Arnaldi secured the fifth break of the set and subsequently served out the match.


The young Italian will be listed at a career-high ranking of world No. 239 when he opens his account at the Challenger event in Vicenza on Tuesday.





Maestrelli will also improve to a career-high ranking of world No. 403 from next week.