Burnie, Tasmania, 27 January 2019 | Asher Packman

After a stellar week in Tasmania, Maverick Banes has fallen at the last hurdle, going down to unseeded Canadian Steven Diez in the Caterpillar Burnie International final.

The Queenslander fought a rearguard action throughout the match, eventually succumbing 7-5 6-1 in 80 minutes.

“It was pretty tough conditions out there and Steven used the wind to his advantage really well, applying pressure the whole time,” Banes said. “I felt like I was on the back foot but I think that was due to him really going after the ball.

“I felt like I was just hanging on in that first set. I tried a couple of different things after that to try and find a way to get through him but it didn’t really work out.”

Despite the result on Sunday, Banes posted some solid wins on his way to just his second ATP Challenger final, including victories over French former world No.50 Stephane Robert and second seed Lloyd Harris of South Africa.

“I played some really good tennis all week,” Banes said. “It wasn’t my best day today but hopefully I can take a bit of confidence out of this and keep it going.

“Hopefully I can string a few more together now and get a bit of consistency.”

Banes, a maiden ATP Challenger winner in August last year (Gwangju, South Korea), is looking to regain his place inside the world’s top 250, with his handiwork this week likely to land him just outside that mark.

Diez, a former world No.162, was competing in his third ATP Challenger final, with the win providing him with his first title.

Earlier on Sunday, the South African/Israeli duo of Harris and Dudi Sela edged out Bosnians Mirza Basic and Tomislav Brkic to take the men’s doubles title 6-3 6-7(3) [10-8].

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