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LESTIENNE IN CAREER-BEST FORM WHILE AUSSIE WALTON CONTINUES TO IMPRESS


Image: Constant Lestienne

Odlum Brown VanOpen - Vancouver, Canada


[5] Constant Lestienne (FRA) def [3] Arthur Rinderknech (FRA) 6-0, 4-6, 6-3


World No. 94 Constant Lestienne has lifted his third ATP Challenger title of the year after overcoming compatriot Arthur Rinderknech in an all-French final at the Odlum Brown VanOpen.


Lestienne got the job done over the world No. 64 in an hour and 53 minutes, extending his H2H lead over Rinderknech to 2-0.


The trophy caps off a solid week for the 30-year-old who overcame the likes of Dominik Koepfer, Fernando Verdasco and Ugo Humbert on his way to the title.


In fact, the Frenchman has been in outstanding touch since being bundled out in the second round of qualifying at Wimbledon. Lestienne has gone on an outstanding run in the Challenger Tour, winning 19 out of a possible 21 matches which includes three titles and a runners-up performance.


This form has seen his ranking jump from 150 to inside the top 100 in the world, as he enjoys the best form of his career to date.


Kozerki Open - Grodzisk Mazowiecki, Poland


[5] Tomas Machac (CZE) def [6] Zhizhen Zhang (CHN) 1-6, 6-3, 6-2


21-year-old Tomas Machac has lifted the fourth ATP Challenger title of his career after defeating the in-form Zhizhen Zhang in the final of the Kozerki Open in Poland.


It’s the young Czech’s second title of the year, with the first coming back in January in Traralgon during the Australian swing.


Zhang came out of the blocks firing and would have fancied himself to win a second title in a row after claiming the trophy at Cordenons just over a week ago.


Coming into the match, Zhang had won 17 of his previous 20 matches and is certainly trending towards a top 100 berth. Yet, he was no match for a resurgent Machac who flipped the script in the final two sets to run out a convincing winner in Poland.


The Czech will hope to maintain his current level as he aims to move back towards his career high of No. 115 - achieved back in February this year.

Republica Dominicana Open - Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic


[2] Pedro Cachin (ARG) def Marco Trungelliti (ARG) 6-4, 2-6, 6-3


27-year-old Argentine Pedro Cachin has continued his outstanding breakthrough year, taking down fellow Argentine Marco Trungelliti in a three-set battle to claim his sixth career ATP Challenger singles title in Santo Domingo.


Cachin performed strongly, dropping just two sets all week en route to his fourth ATP Challenger title for the year. The 27-year-old has already appeared in seven Challenger finals this year as he stakes his claim for the ATP Newcomer of the year award.


The Argentine will now rise 22 spots in the ATP singles rankings from 88 to a career-high 66, becoming the fourth highest ranked Argentine in the singles rankings.


ITF M15 Cancun, Mexico


[3] Jorge Brian Panta Herreros (PER) def [4] Adam Walton (AUS) 1-6, 6-3, 6-4


Over on the ITF Tour, Adam Walton was the best performing Australian but he came up short against Jorge Brian Panta Herreros in the final of the M15 in Cancun.


Walton could consider himself unlucky not to come out on top after just over three hours on court. The Aussie had several chances to get ahead but the Peruvian wouldn’t budge, saving 6/6 break points in the second and third set combined.


Hitting 20 aces and winning 81% of first serve points is usually enough to win a match but it just wasn’t to be for Walton this time around.


Since graduating from the University of Tennessee, Walton has gone 24/4 on the ITF Tour with two titles, one runners-up trophy and two semi-final appearances to his name as he makes a name for himself on the professional tour.


Walton will stick around in Cancun for another week before an Australian homecoming to play ITF events in Darwin and Canberra.


In other Australian news on the ITF tour, Tom Fancutt enjoyed a solid week in Korea and made a semi-final appearance at the M15 in Anseong while Aussie doubles pairing Thomas Pavlekovich Smith and Timothy Gray won the runners-up trophy at the same event.


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