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Photograph: Getty Images

Aussie Watch

Tennis Ohio Championships, USA

[1] Jordan Thompson (AUS) def [2] Emilio Gomez (ECU) 7-6(6), 6-2

Sydney’s Jordan Thompson capped off a stellar week in Columbus by claiming the Tennis Ohio Championships over Ecuadorian Emilio Gomez in straight sets.

The win over Gomez sees Thompson lift his second ATP Challenger title of the year and the ninth overall in his career.

The 28-year-old didn’t drop a set heading into the final but it looked as though that would change in the opener against Gomez. Despite Thompson having several opportunities to break serve, the match headed to a tiebreak where the Aussie found himself in trouble down 5-6.

Thompson gathered himself to fight off both of Gomez’s serves and win the last three points to take the opening set. From then on, it was smooth sailing for the Aussie as he broke the Gomez serve twice, easing to a comfortable victory.

Thompson is enjoying a purple patch of late, making the semifinals at the Cary Challenger last week and now victory in Colombus; A form line that has seen him move up to No. 85 in the live rankings.

Fellow Aussie Rinky Hijikata enjoyed a good week in Ohio, making the semifinals where he lost to Gomez in three sets. Hijikata’s run has seen him leap inside the top 200, where he sits at No. 195 in the live rankings.

ITF M25 Darwin, Australia

[2] Dane Sweeny (AUS) def [1] Omar Jasika (AUS) 6-3, 6-7(4), 6-4

21-year-old Dane Sweeny capped off a huge fortnight by claiming back-to-back titles at the ITF M25 events in Darwin.

The New South Welshman claimed his fifth ITF singles title of the season after overcoming fellow Aussie Omar Jasika in a marathon match lasting nearly three and a half hours.

The match was hotly contested throughout and both players would have been deserving winners - the total point count had Jasika with 118 and Sweeny with 117.

Sweeny was resolute on serve, saving 12 of the 15 break points created by Jasika while managing to break his opponent's serve six times from 14 attempts.

With Sweeny’s double in Darwin, he is expected to move up to a career-high ranking of No. 282 while Jasika sits at No. 300.

In the doubles, the all-Aussie pairing of Tai Sach and Zaharije-Zak Talic went down in the final to Colin Sinclair and Kyle Seelig 4-6, 4-6 in an hour and three minutes.

ITF W25 Darwin, Australia

[1] Alexandra Bozovic (AUS) def [5] Talia Gibson (AUS) 3-6, 6-3, 6-3

Top seed Alexandra Bozovic completed a clean sweep in Darwin by claiming her second tournament in a row in the top end.

Bozovic came from a set down against rising teenager Talia Gibson to claim her second career ITF singles title in two hours and 45 minutes on court.

The 23-year-old put on a gritty defensive performance to keep herself in the game while her opponent continually asked questions of her serve.

Gibson was relentless on return, creating a whopping 18 break point opportunities for the match. Yet, despite the constant pressure, Bozovic was able to work her way out of it and saved 14 break points.

On the contrary, Bozovic made the most of her opportunities on the Gibson serve, winning five of eight break point opportunities to give herself the edge when it mattered.

With the Darwin double, Bozovic is expected to jump to a new career-high ranking of No. 351 in the world while Gibson should enter the top 500.

Gibson was able to taste some success, winning the doubles with compatriot Petra Hule against fellow Aussie Lisa Mays and Japan’s Ramu Ueda 2-6, 7-5, 10-5.

AON Open Challenger (Genoa), Italy

[2] Thiago Monteiro (BRA) def Andrea Pellegrino (ITA) 6-1, 7-6(2)

28-year-old Brazilian Thiago Monteiro lifted the eighth Challenger title of his career in Genoa after defeating local Andrea Pellegrino in the final.

With the win, Monteiro has now won two Challenger events in a row. The last one came back in July when he took out the Salzburg Challenger over Norbert Gombos in the final.

Monteiro enjoyed a relatively comfortable week, dropping just two sets and avoiding any other seeded players throughout. On the other hand, Pellegrino endured a tough week and only fell at the final hurdle.

The Italian worked his way past first seed Albert Ramos-Vinolas, fifth seed Pablo Andujar and fourth seed Dusan Lajovic on his way to the final.

Pellegrino’s week has seen him jump 28 places to No. 136 in the world while Monteiro has moved four places to No. 62 in the live rankings.

Braga Open, Portugal

[Q] Nicolas Moreno de Alboran (USA) def Matheus Pucinelli de Almeida (BRA) 6-2, 6-4

American Nicolas Moreno de Alboran has joined the long list of ATP Challenger champions after claiming his maiden title at the Braga Open.

The 25-year-old capped off his breakthrough week with a commanding victory over Matheus Pucinelli de Almeida of Brazil in the final.

The American was in complete control in the final, earning 18 break opportunities and converting five of them while saving three of five on his own serve.

Making de Alboran’s week even sweeter was the fact he only dropped two sets from qualifying all the way to the final.

With the victory, de Alboran is set to jump 107 places to No. 201 in the world.

Sibiu Open, Romania

Nerman Fatic (BIH) def [6] Damir Dzumhur (BIH) 6-3, 6-4

Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Nerman Fatic has made his big breakthrough on the Challenger Tour after taking out the Sibiu Open in Romania over compatriot Damir Dzumhur.

The 27-year-old was playing in the first Challenger level final of his career and he took the opportunity with both hands.

Fatic was a menace on return, creating 16 break point opportunities to keep Dzumhur under constant pressure. Dzumhur managed to save 11 of them, but that wasn’t enough to keep Fatic out of the game.

Despite landing his first serve just 49% of the time, Fatic was able to win 73% of the points when he did to keep Dzumhur at bay.

With the victory, Fatic is expected to rise 62 places to a career-high No. 196 in the world.

Villa Maria Challenger, Argentina

Nicolas Kicker (ARG) def Mariano Navone (ARG) 7-5, 6-3

30-year-old Argentinian Nicolas Kicker is back on the winners’ list for the first time since 2017 after taking out the Villa Maria Challenger on home soil.

Kicker claimed the fourth Challenger title of his career following a slog of an encounter with compatriot Mariano Navone that featured 10 breaks of serve in just over two hours on court.

Kicker had an interesting run to the title, playing four of his five matches against fellow Argentinians while dropping just one set for the tournament against Facundo Diaz Acosta.

The victory will see Kicker rise 51 places and back into the top 200 at No. 183 in the world.


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