Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, 26 September 2021 | Leigh Rogers

Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan

James Duckworth’s quest to win a first ATP singles title has fallen just short.

South Korean Soonwoo Kwon snapped the Australian’s nine-match winning streak with a 7-6(6) 6-3 victory in the Astana Open final in Nur-Sultan today.

Duckworth struck 10 aces in the one-hour and 35-minute final – but was left ruing missed opportunities. The world No.65 had three set points in the first-set tiebreak and also gained an early break in the second set, but world No.82 Kwon had too many answers.

It ends a career-best run at an ATP-level tournament for Duckworth. The 29-year-old will still be rewarded with a significant ranking rise, and is projected to make his top-60 debut next week.

Duckworth, who has won 13 of his past 17 matches, now turns his attention to a ATP 250 tournament in Sofia. He is one of three Australians in the singles draw at the Bulgarian event, alongside Alex de Minaur and John Millman.

Aussies in action – Nur-Sultan

Men’s singles, final
Soonwoo Kwon (KOR) d James Duckworth (AUS) 7-6(6) 6-3

Columbus, USA

Max Purcell also collected a finalist trophy this week, finishing runner-up to American Stefan Kozlov at an ATP Challenger event in Columbus.

Kozlov, a 23-year-old ranked No.301, prevailed 4-6 6-2 6-4 in his final showdown against the 23-year-old Australian.

Aussies in action – Columbus

Men’s singles, final
Stefan Kozlov (USA) d Max Purcell (AUS) 4-6 6-2 6-4