Bengaluru, NFAPost: Chinese Taipei’s Chun-hsin Tseng shrugged off a mid-match blip to beat Croatian qualifier Borna Gojo 6-4, 7-5 to clinch the Bengaluru Open ATP Challenger tournament, on Sunday.
Up a set and 2-0, Chun-hsin lost five straight games before going on a five-game winning run of his own to secure his second-ever Challenger title. The victory will catapult the 2018 French Open and Wimbledon junior champion up into the 150s, a new career-high world ranking.
“My goal was to be inside the top-150 after these two weeks,” a beaming Chun-hsin said after the triumph. “That meant I had to get a title and make another final. Let’s see what happens next week.”
Gojo, at 6’5” and a muscular build, had both the height and power to play first-strike tennis. But his serve, on the day, was a loose cannon (six aces to eight double faults) and with a flat stroke he struggled to keep the ball in under high-altitude conditions.
Chun-hsin, diminutively built, imparted a lot more spin to keep the rally going and move his opponent around. A break in the fifth game was enough to gain the upper hand and when he broke again in the first game of the second set, the Croatian seemed to have wilted.
Gojo changed shirts even as his uncle sitting in the stands tried to rev up the crowd. The floodlights took effect and the 23-year-old’s level lifted. He restored parity at 2-2 and broke again to 4-2, following up a fine inside-in winner with a crunching backhand return.
But when he was serving for the set at 5-3, two unforced errors and two double faults grounded him. The resistance had snapped and when he sent an easy smash long to hand Chun-hsin a break to 6-5, he had reached a point of no return.
Despite the fact that there was no Indian involved in the final, a sizeable crowd had gathered to witness the title clash. Chun-hsin who has an impeccable record as a junior finishing as World No.1 in 2018, began on a shaky note, trying to gauge his opponent’s game and more importantly not to lose his serve, although he was on the brink of losing it a couple of times. He achieved the all-important break in the fifth game to end up having the upperhand in the opening set.
Chun-hsin Tseng (TPE) bt Q- Borna Gojo (CRO) 6-4, 7-5