7:6, 6:3 in the final against Klein
The 13th edition of the Sparkasse Challenger Val Gardena South Tyrol has seen the first winner from Croatia. The unseeded Borna Gojo, number 182 in the world rankings, won the final match today at noon in Ortisei against the number 7 seed Lukas Klein from Slovakia, number 163 in the world, with 7:6 (4) and 6:3. Gojo received 6190 euros prize money and 80 world ranking points for his victory, with which he will move into the top 150 players in the world in the ATP rankings for the first time on Monday.
Hardly any player has won the tournament more confidently. Gojo did not drop a single set during the week and did not even concede a break in five matches. The Croatian had two break points in the very first service game in the final, after which the serve dominated the action. In the tiebreak, the mini-break to 5:3 for Gojo after a backhand error by Klein was the preliminary decision. In the second set, Klein fought off four break points in the fourth game, but then he had to give up his serve for 2:4. Gojo did not let this lead slip away and was able to cheer after 83 minutes.
The Croatian had lost the first Challenger final of his career in India in February, but today he could cheer for the first time: "This is an important win for me, but not the biggest success, because I played the Davis Cup Finals last year." On the final in Gardena-Gröden, he said, "Lukas is a great player who has played very well in the last few weeks, but I think I had more chances today. The surface here is a bit faster than usual, which of course suits my service. I love it here in Gardena-Gröden, I was here last year. We arrived a few days before this time and were also in the mountains." Gojo hopes he can continue his good form at next week's Challenger in Bergamo.
Klein was naturally disappointed, "I was nervous, he was the better player and deserved to win. I have to stay positive, in a few minutes I will be happy because the final is a good result." Klein will play the Challenger in Bratislava the week after next and will also move into the top 150 in the world rankings thanks to the 50 ATP points he won.
The organisers of the most important tennis tournament in South Tyrol were also satisfied. This year's edition will be remembered above all because it was the last tournament in the career of Andreas Seppi. The player from Caldaro ended his career this week and is the only one to have won his home tournament twice so far (2013 and 2014).