Youzhny foils Swiss, clinches ATP crown
Joey Villar (The Philippine Star) - January 24, 2016 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Second seed Mikhail Youzhny of Russia ended Swiss Marco Chiudinelli’s giant-slaying ways with a 6-4, 6-4 victory yesterday to clinch the singles crown in the $75,000 ATP Challenger Philippine Open at the Rizal Tennis Center.

Meanwhile, Filipino Francis Casey Alcantara and Indonesian partner Christopher Rungkat fell short of their title bid, dropping a 2-6, 2-6 setback to second pick Johan Brunstrom of Sweden and Frederik Nielsen of Denmark in the doubles finals. 

Youzhny, 33, gave Chiudinelli little chance to pull off another upset as he took control of the match to fashion out the win for his third Challenge crown early in the season. He scored back-to-back victories in Bangkok, Thailand early this month.

“It was a tough match but I just focused on my game,” said Youzhny, who once reached No. 8 in the world.

On his way to the championship, Youzhny, a former two-time US Open semifinalist now ranked No. 84, conceded just one set the whole week en route to dominating the tournament sponsored by Cebuana Lhuillier’s Jean Henri Lhuillier, the Phl Sports Commission and Phl Tennis Association.

Youzhny, who repulsed Slovakian No. 3 Lukas Lacko, 1-6, 7-6 (7), 7-5, in the semis, thus pocketed $10,800 and earned 90 ranking points while Chiudinelli took $6,360 plus 55 ranking points.

Chiudinelli came into the finals riding the crest of his big wins over top seed Luca Vanni of Italy, 6-1, 1-6, 6-4, in the second round and No. 4 Go Soeda of Japan, 5-7, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (4), of Japan in the semis.         

 

CEBUANA LHUILLIER CHALLENGER PHILIPPINE OPEN CHIUDINELLI CHRISTOPHER RUNGKAT FILIPINO FRANCIS CASEY ALCANTARA AND INDONESIAN GO SOEDA OF JAPAN JEAN HENRI LHUILLIER JOHAN BRUNSTROM OF SWEDEN AND FREDERIK NIELSEN OF DENMARK LUCA VANNI OF ITALY NBSP YOUZHNY
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