Australia’s Max Purcell completed a hat-trick of ATP Challenger Tour titles with a straight-sets win over Italy’s Luca Nardi in the Pune Open final at Shri Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex, Tennis Stadium on Sunday.
Reigning Wimbledon men’s doubles champion Purcell, who came to Pune after his title-winning runs in Chennai and Bengaluru, defeated the Italian teenager 6-2, 6-3 in an hour and 18 minutes.
In a rematch of the Bengaluru Challenger quarterfinal, the 24-year-old Purcell broke Nardi twice in the first four games to race to a 4-0 lead in the first set. Nardi had three break points in the second game but failed to convert any of them. Purcell wrapped up the opener in 43 minutes.
Nardi, who had previously won all three Challenger Tour finals he had played in, was put under pressure by Purcell in the second set as well. After saving two break points in the third game, he faced two more in the fifth and this time, the third-seeded Australian converted the first of them. Purcell broke Nardi again when the fourth-seeded Italian was serving to stay in the final.
Purcell, who arrived in India as World No. 203, took his Challenger Tour titles tally to five with victories in Chennai, Bengaluru and Pune, and is set to make his ATP Top 100 debut on Monday.
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