Bangalore, Oct 25: James Ward of Great Britain played the best tennis of the week to clinch the AirAsia Open, $50,000 Challenger title defeating tournament top seed Adrian Menendez-Madeira’s 6-2, 7-5 at the KSLTA Courts on Sunday.
Watched by a supportive crowd, the English player was all over his Spanish opponent breaking the World No 137 in the 6th and 8th games to wrap the first set.
The tournament No 2 had a chance to gain his first break in the very second game of the first set when he held two break points but Adrian came back strongly to save the two points and hold onto serve.
The Spaniard raised the level of his game in the second set and kept the British Davis Cupper on court longer than expected.
The opponents held onto their respective serves for the first 11 games, engaging each other in some long rallies and coming p with some exciting tennis.
But it was the second seed who held sway despite not gaining a break early.
Ward was clearly at the peak of his game and the Englishman did not disappoint, coming up with some superb shots to enjoy two set points in the 12th game, the Spaniard hitting a return long to hand over the title to Ward.
“I am happy and I have had a good week’, said Ward after collecting the winner’s cheque of $7,100.
“I think I played by best tennis today and I was serving pretty well throughout the match”, said the Englishman adding, “The conditions were difficult to play but winning matches is always good and I am happy with the way I have gone through the week and in the final”.
Incidentally, this is the first Challenger title for the World No. 159 who collected ATP points for the victory. Adrian Nenendez-Maceiras had to be content with a cheque for $4,240 and 48 ATP points.
The pair head off to Pune to take part in the Challenger there.
Results: (Prefix denotes seedings):
Singles (Final): (2) James Ward (GBR) bt (1) Adrian Menendez-Maceiras (Esp) 6-2, 7-5.Published 25 Oct 2015, 21:19 IST