Russian Mikhail Youzhny outlasted Switzerland’s Marco Chiudinelli 6-4, 6-4 on Sunday to take home the singles title of the $75, 000 ATP Challenger Philippine Open at the Rizal Memorial Tennis Center in Malate, Manila.
Youzhny, 33, was in total control showcasing his right backhand in the early part of the first set against his Swiss counterpart to take a 3-0 advantage.
Chiudinelli, 34, banked on good serves to narrow the gap to 4-3. But the Russian regained his bearing and stayed ahead with a 5-4 lead before closing out the first set with a strong backhand.
“I just focused on my game and enjoyed every minute,” Youzhny, who ranks No. 84 in the world, told reporters during the post match interview. “ This is a tough tournament and I really found myself giving my best.”
The six-footer Russian also took a commanding 3-0 lead in the second set and was never threatened despite the valiant effort by Chiudinelli.
“He is a very good player. I can’t give any excuse. At this level of tournament, weather is not really a factor. But I would like to thank the crowd today, Salamat (thank you),” said Chuidinelli.
Youzhny made it to the finals by beating No. 111 Lukas Lacko of Slovakia 1-6, 7-6 (7), 7-5 in the semifinals while Chiudinelli blasted Japanese Go Soeda 5-7 7-6 (5) 7-6 (4) in the other semifinals match.
In doubles, Filipino Francis Casey Alcantara and Indonesian Christopher Rungkat succumbed to No. 2 Johan Brunstrom of Sweden and Frederik Nielsen of Denmark in the finals, 2-6, 2-6.