Hijikata wins first pro title, Millman triumphant
Australian teenager Rinky Hijikata wins his first ITF professional title in Arkansas while John Millman wins the ATP Challenger trophy in Kaohsiung.
Rinky Hijikata won the ITF World Tennis Tour title in Fayetteville, Arkansas — his first professional tennis title.
The 18-year-old beat No.2 seed Nick Chappell of the United States 2-6 6-2 6-1, marking the third time during the tournament he lost the first set before recovering to win in three.
Roaring to a first ITF pro title 💥 🏆
— TennisAustralia (@TennisAustralia) September 23, 2019
Hijikata’s victory was one of several excellent results for Australians competing at various tournaments around the globe.
A day after Sam Stosur featured in the final of the WTA tournament in Guangzhou, Blake Mott begun his comeback to tennis in style with victory at the Cairns Pro Tour event while John Millman notched his first title of 2019 at the ATP Challenger tournament in Kaohsiung.
Millman beat fellow Australian Marc Polmans in the final, the 6-4 6-2 win delivering the Queenslander his 12th Challenger trophy.
— ATP Challenger Tour (@ATPChallenger) September 22, 2019
Currently ranked No.94, Millman is expected to rise 15 places to return to the world’s top 80.
In Sibiu, Romania, Christopher O’Connell advanced to a second ATP Challenger final of the year but fell short against Serb Danilo Petrovic.
The Australian went down 6-4 6-2 yet nonetheless improved his win-loss record to 66-22 in 2019 and is projected to crack the top 200 for the first time.
Interestingly, Petrovic, a friend of O’Connell’s, was the player who encouraged the Australian to adopt Belgrade as his training base when he spends time in Europe.
Seone Mendez, meanwhile, reached her first ITF 25K final of the season and came close to pulling off an upset win before going down in three sets to Italy’s Martina Trevisan.
Mendez pushed the top-200 player and second seed all the way yet ultimately fell 6-4 5-7 7-5.
Mendez this season has won six ITF titles — all at 15K level. Her win-loss record stands at an impressive 43-12.