Two-time champion Blaz Kavcic of Slovenia proved invincible again here at the Thai capital after he survived five match points to outlast German rising star Maximilian Marterer 4-6 7-6 (7-3) 6-2 to set up the Sunday’s US$50,000 Bangkok Open Challenger 1 final match with Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia at Rama Gardens Hotel.
Hung by a thread at 5-6 down and five times away from defeat, the 217 th ranked Kavcic dug deep with some tenacious fight to show why he won here in 2013 and 2016. And when he finally held that long game, it was a one way traffic from then on for the 29-year-old player as his young opponent lost concentration and stamina.
“I have no idea how (I came back to win the match). I just tried to stay focused and fight for every ball. He was playing very good and he did not let me play my game until in the third set where I got control in the match and it was easier for me,” said the former world No 68 who has never lost to anyone here for 14 straight matches.
“I play well here because I am very good physically which is very important under the condition here. This is the main reason why I am making good results here in Bangkok,” said the Slovenian who eyes on his first win over the 144th ranked opponent who beat him twice in 2011.
“Janko and I have a lot in common. We are both big fighters on court and we never give up. We also have a lot surgeries in past years and we both fight hard to get back. I am very happy to play against him in the final and will be good test to see where my game is before the Australian Open,” Kavcic said.
The fifth seed Tipsarevic earlier upset top seed Yuichi Sugita of Japan 6-1 7-6 (10-8) to reach his second Challenger final after winning in Qingdao last August.
The former world No 8 Tipsarevic was quickly into gear by leading the 2015 champion a set and 4-2 lead before the latter started his revolution. Sugita, ranked No 112, tightened his game to break back for four all and even had three set points in the tie-break.
But even it was 6-4, 6-5 or 8-7, the Japanese only had himself to blame for slipping chances away due to his own easy mistakes. But once he had his opportunity, the Serbian grabbed it eight away, blasting a clean winner to enter the final.
Sugita was also given his second defeat when he and Chinese Wu Di were toppled by Gregoire Barrere and Jonathan Eysseric of France 3-6 2-6 in the doubles finals.
Gregoire Barrere and Jonathan Eysseric of France
In the Bangkok Challenger 2 qualifying round, Pruchya Isarow upset Thailand Men’s Futures 4 champion and Futures 6 finalist Fabien Reboul of France, the fifth seed, 6-7 (7-2) 7-6 (8-6) 6-2, a revenge for his two losses to the Frenchman in those Futures. Kittipong Wachiramanowong also moved on with a 4-6 6-3 6-3 win over Sasi Kumar Mukund of India.