Mitchell wins maiden ATP Challenger
Ben Mitchell recovered from a set down against Luke Saville to capture the first ATP Challenger title of his career in Canberra.
Unseeded Queenslander Ben Mitchell has stormed back from a one-set deficit against fellow Australian Luke Saville to claim his maiden ATP Challenger title at the 2015 Canberra Tennis International.
“It’s great to get the win in my first (Challenger) final,” Mitchell said after the 5-7 6-0 6-1 victory on Sunday.
“I won my first tournament here (in Canberra) when I was nine years old and it’s cool to come back and win a tournament twelve years later.”
With both players starting a little tentatively, it was the Saville serve that made the difference in the opening set, but from that point on it was Mitchell who made all the running, breaking Saville – who did appear to be somewhat hampered by injury – on five occasions to earn the biggest win of his career.
“We were both trying to find our feet a little bit in the first set,” Mitchell said of facing his close friend. “He was serving really well so I kind made a conscious effort to try and be as aggressive as possible in the second.
“I stepped about a metre and half in on return games and tried to put the pressure on him instantly. It kind of had a roll-on effect from there.
“The score line wasn’t a true indication of the second and third sets. I feel like it was a lot closer than that.”
The 22-year-old looked good all week in Canberra – as well as defeating fifth seed Saville in the final, he ousted second seed Matt Ebden in the second round – and will likely return to the world’s top 250 as a result of the title win.
“Most tournaments I’ve played this year I’ve played really well, I just haven’t played too many,” he said, citing ongoing issues with his back.
“I’m not being so lazy in my body management now, and if I can do that next year I definitely feel like I could make the top 100.”
The men’s doubles final pitted Aussie duo Alex Bolt and Andrew Whittington against Brit Brydan Klein and New South Welshman Dane Propoggia. After a tight first set, the top seeds Bolt and Whittington pulled away to win 7-6(2) 6-3.