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CAME BACK | Bengaluru Open: Stefano Napolitano beats Seongchan Hong to clinch men’s singles title

IANS | Updated on Monday, February 19, 2024 10:23 AM IST
Bengaluru Open: Stefano Napolitano beats Seongchan Hong to clinch men’s singles title

BENGALURU: Italy’s Stefano Napolitano came back from a set down to beat South Korea’s Seongchan Hong in the final to clinch the men's singles title in Bengaluru Open 2024 ATP Challenger Series event at the KSLTA Tennis Stadium here on Sunday.

The seventh seed Napolitano, whose last ATP Challenger title came way back in 2016, relied on his booming groundstrokes to win 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 in two hours and 23 minutes to take home a prize purse of $18230 (approximately Rs 15 lakh). The title triumph also helped him bag 100 ranking points.

Napolitano, who had got the better of former world no. 25 Vasek Pospisil of Canada in the second round and home favourite Sumit Nagal in the semi-finals, struggled with his first serve in the opening set and that meant he wasn’t really able to capitalise on the opportunities and lost his serve twice.

But he became more consistent as the match progressed and managed to break his opponent once to force the decider.

With the momentum now in his favour, Napolitano broke Hong in the very first game to wrest the advantage. The South Korean stayed in the set by staving off his opponent in his next three service games.

However, Napolitano ended Hong’s resistance in the ninth game of the set by hitting an inside-out forehand winner for the first point and completed the triumph with a backhand winner before falling on his back in celebration.

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