At the Challenger in Bari, Germany beat Italy

At the Challenger in Bari, Germany beat Italy
At the Challenger in Bari, Germany beat Italy

Oscar Otte wins the derby with Daniel Masur 7-5 7-5 and wins the Challenger 80 in Bari (outdoor concrete). A tournament that was in its first edition and that was, all in all, a great organizational success. If it were not for the fact that playing outdoors at the end of November represented a great risk, as unfortunately confirmed by the rain that was not long in coming, becoming an unwelcome protagonist of the event. However the final, even without Italian players, was fun and very uncertain. In the first set, breaks and counter-breaks until Masur serves at 5-6 and loses his serve to zero. The development of the second set is identical: Otte’s attempt to escape but Masur’s immediate counter-break who serves again at 5-6 to save the game. Unfortunately for him the result is identical to that of the previous set and another break to zero gives the 28-year-old German from Cologne the fifth trophy in his career, the third of this month to remember (Ismaning and Ortisei the former).

For Otte there is also the new best ranking at n.103 ATP, overlooking the main draw of the Australian Open. And if that were not enough, he can always hope to touch up the classification at the Challenger in Forlì where he will start with the top seed. New best also for Masur who enters the top 200 for the first time, precisely at position 184. Also for him an appointment in Forlì on the courts of the Villa Carpena Tennis Club.

In the semifinals Oscar Otte and Daniel Masur had no regard for the hosts Fabbiano and Vavassori and, the only two intruders in a scoreboard that saw six blues in the quarter-finals, they managed to monopolize the final. Exemplary the path of Masur who, until the final act, met only Italians, eliminating in sequence Andaloro, Forti, Nardi and Vavassori. To tell the truth, the German struggled with almost all of them, but he always managed to stay cooler in the decisive moments, especially in the semifinal against a very good Andrea Vavassori who led him to the tie-break of the decisive set. For the blue, however, it is yet another good tournament (semifinal as in the September Challenger in Como) which allows him to further improve his best at position n.262, from which he begins to look forward to the next Australian Open qualifiers with confidence. Among other things, the Turin player also played in the doubles final in which, paired with the Spanish Vega Hernandez, he lost 6-3 6-0 against the Anglo-Finns Glasspool / Heliovaara.

Thomas Fabbiano is also very good who, despite losing the semifinal against Otte in a clear way (6-4 6-4), still obtains the best result of the season, giving himself a nice boost of confidence for 2022. Best ranking also for Luca Nardi who rises to 419 and for Flavio Cobolli that with his n.208 ATP he can already begin to pack his bags for Australia.

At the Challenger 80 in Brasilia (clay) Luciano Darderi, paired with Genaro Olivieri, surrenders for the second consecutive time 6-3 6-3 in the final of the doubles tournament. This time it was the hosts Mateus Alves and Gustavo Heide who stopped him, while in Montevideo it was Rafael Matos and Meligeni Rodrigues who shattered the dreams of the 19-year-old Italian-Argentine. However, the final double allows him to improve his best doubles ranking at 286 ATP.

In singular the final is entirely by Federico Coria which honors its first seed and closes the tournament without leaving a single set on the road. The Spaniard Jaume Munar puts up a stalwart resistance but, tired from the hard battles that in his case preceded this final (he always won in three sets, contrary to his opponent), after two hours of play he must yield 7-5 6-3 and resign himself to his fourth defeat out of five finals in his unexciting 2021 (the only exception being the Antalya Challenger in January when he beat our Musetti in the final). For the winner it is the second success of the season (Prostejov the previous one in June) which allows him to climb back to No. 63 ATP, only two positions from his best ranking.

Al Challenger 80 del Bahrain (cemento outdoor) Ramkumar Ramanathan (# 222 ATP) wins the tournament 6-1 6-4 over Russian Evgeny Karlovskiy (# 302 ATP) in a much simpler final than expected and ended in just one hour of play. For the 27-year-old Indian it is the first Challenger victory after six final losses.

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