Challenger Tour Finals – Stebe triumphs

In the first edition of “Challenger Masters”, which was held in Sao Paulo ($220,000 prize money; indoors), Dudi Sela [95] and Cedrik-Marcel Stebe [103] advanced to the final. In the first semifinal Sela upset the home crowd posting a 6-4, 6-4 win over Thomaz Bellucci [37], later on in an all-German duel of left-handed players, Stebe ousted Andreas Beck [105] in three tight sets   after almost 3-hour battle, coming back from a *2:4 deficit in the 2nd set and *2:4 the 3rd-set tie-break. “I think we both were a little nervous at the beginning,” said Stebe. “It was mentally a tough match as I had to come back a couple of times and I managed to keep my game; in the end it worked out. He’s a very good player, was Top 40, knows my game well, and I hope to keep improving with good matches like this one.” On the following day Stebe outplayed Sela in 1 hour 29 minutes, avenging a defeat in his first ’round robin’ match. Stebe celebrated it lying on the ground. It’s a breakthrough season for the 21-year-old skinny German. He began the year as No. 375, but his consistent play at the Challenger circuit, especially in Asia (titles in Bangkok, Shanghai, final in Kyoto, semifinals in Guangzhou, Pingguo, Oberstaufen), and two good ATP tournaments on the home soil in July (defeated Davydenko twice) allowed him in advancement to the Top 100. Stebe possesses very natural ground-strokes, good serve, covers the court smoothly, there’s no problem with his mentality (5-0 in the deciding 3rd set tie-break this year – all levels). I guess he’s a Top 10 material and the future of German tennis, should be a tennis leader of his nation in the current decade…. The maiden event was played in an ATP World Tour Finals format – two groups with four players on each of them;   there were invited  the seven best players of the season of the Challenger circuit and a “wild card” home favorite – Bellucci.
Green Group:
Andreas Beck d. Martin Klizan 6-3 6-1
(WC)Thomaz Bellucci d. Bobby Reynolds 6-3 6-3
Bobby Reynolds d. Martin Klizan 6-2 3-6 6-1
Andreas Beck d. (WC)Thomaz Bellucci 6-4 4-6 6-4
(WC)Thomaz Bellucci d. Martin Klizan 3-6 6-4 7-6(7) – 1 m.p.
Andreas Beck d. Bobby Reynolds 6-3 7-5
Yellow Group:
Dudi Sela d. Cedrik-Marcel Stebe 6-4 7-6(3)
Rui Machado d. Matthias Bachinger 3-6 7-6(4) 6-4
Cedrik-Marcel Stebe d. Matthias Bachinger 6-4 2-6 6-4
Rui Machado d. Dudi Sela 6-2 6-2
Dudi Sela d. Matthias Bachinger 6-2 6-2
Cedrik-Marcel Stebe d. Rui Machado 7-5 6-0
Dudi Sela d. (WC)Thomaz Bellucci 6-4 6-4
Cedrik-Marcel Stebe d. Andreas Beck 5-7 7-6(3) 7-6(4)
Cedrik-Marcel Stebe d. Dudi Sela 6-2 6-4
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1 Response to Challenger Tour Finals – Stebe triumphs

  1. Voo de Mar says:

    One year later totally different line-up and Guido Pella [124] triumphs beating Adrian Ungur [112] in the final 6-3 6-7 7-6. The funny thing is three days before they played a match with very similar scoreline, Ungur won 4-6 7-6 7-6.

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