Aleksandar Vukic defeated Dimitar Kuzmanov 6-4, 6-4 to clinch his maiden ATP Challenger singles title at the second leg of the Bengaluru Open here on Sunday.
The top seeded Australian will as a result earn 80 ATP ranking points and pocket $7200. But more importantly, he will break into the world top-120, continuing his ascent since the start of the year when he was ranked outside 150.
“It was a tricky match,” Vukic said after the win. “I knew he would make a lot of balls. So, I tried to stay aggressive. It was a bit up and down, but I was mentally a bit calmer and handled it pretty well.”
Vukic came out swinging pretty hard and flat, hitting a slew of forehand winners. He broke to 3-2, survived a wobbly service game in the eighth and held to love in the tenth to pocket the first set.
In the second, Vukic broke early again, to go 2-1 up when Kuzmanov served two double faults. But the next two service games to consolidate the break were tough for Vukic. In the fourth game, he fell 0-30 down but erased a break point with an ace. In the sixth game, he fell 0-40 down but survived again.
Miffed at himself, Kuzmanov smashed his racquet and was docked a point, for it was his second offence after having earlier blasted the ball out of the stadium in frustration.
The Bulgarian’s resistance had snapped and Vukic’s last two holds were clinical, for the loss of just one point, as he sewed up the contest with a barrage of aces.
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