Aljaz Bedene takes Irving Challenger title for 2nd time

 

 By Glenys Furness

  • Aljaz Bedene wins Irving Classic title again
  • Third final in a row at the event
  • Back into the World top 100
IRVING, TEXAS, USA – Aljaz Bedene wins second title in Irving Classic Challenger. Bedene’s third final at the event.

 

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Brit of the week

After missing the end of last season due to injury, Aljaz Bedene made the Irving Challenger event as an alternate in the main draw. Bedene won the event in 2015 whilst still under the flag of Slovenia, the soon to be Brit was just waiting for the change of country to be accepted by the ITF.

The following year as defending champion Bedene, now officially British, was unable to repeat the success of the previous year, finishing as runner up to Marcel Granollers. Having dropped out of the top 100 due to injury the Brit went to Texas in the hope of a spot in the main draw.

Making it in as an alternate Bedene drew the second seed Paolo Lorenzi. Although a tight match the Brit came through in straight sets. Having to battle for the second set tiebreaker Bedene sealed the win 6-4, 7-5.

Following up on this win, the Brit then secured hard earned wins against Thomaz Bellucci, where Bedene dropped the first set before coming back to win 4-6, 7-6(6), 6-1, and Jared Donaldson another alternate 7-5, 6-3. Next up for Bedene was the qualifier Andrey Rublev who was having a great week.

This semi final did not start well for the Brit. dropping the first set 1-6, Bedene fought back and saving match points secured the second set on a tiebreak. The final set was comfortable for the Brit as he romped through to book a spot in the final 1-6, 7-6(6), 6-2.

In the final the Brit faced Mikhail Kukushkin. The Kazakh struggled in the first set as the Brit continued from where he left off in the semi final. It wasn’t to be that easy though as Kukushkin came roaring back in the second set and forced a decider. Bedene by now was in no mood to lose and was more or less breaking at will as he served up a breadstick. Bedene won the title 6-3, 3-6, 6-1. The title should also see Bedene return to the top 100.

 

ITF & CHALLENGER ROUND UP

Ed Corrie lost in first round of Druumondville.

Liam Broady qualified in Drummondville and lost in the second round.

Jay Clarke won the delayed title last week, lost in the quarter finals of Antalya.

Neil Pauffley managed the quarter finals in Heraklion before falling.

Richard Gabb and Luke Bambridge both lost in the first round of Heraklion, Josh Paris lost in the second round.

 

Next week

We have Brits qualifying in Miami – Bedene (14th seed) for the men. Naomi Broady & Katie Swan for the ladies. Whilst we have Kyle Edmund, Dan Evans, Johanna Konta and Heather Watson all in the main draw

Lloyd Glasspool is qualifying in Guadalajara.

 

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