Serbian Bozoljac crowned singles champion

Continuing his dream run, unseeded Ilija Bozoljac of Serbia outplayed Russian third seed Evgeny Donskoy in straight sets to clinch the singles title at the $50,000 ATP Challenger Tour event here on Saturday.

Having made the final without dropping a set, the Serbian fired 11 aces en route to a thumping 6-1, 6-1 win in just 58 minutes at the BTA Courts. The Serbian, who pocketed $7,200 and 80 ranking points, said he’s least interested in following rankings. “I don’t know... I haven’t checked my ranking for the last three years!”

The Serbian was down with a back injury from 2009-12 and he had begun the year going down to Swiss great Roger Federer in the Davis Cup 4-6, 5-7, 2-6.

“I lost my best of three years because of my back injury from 2009-12. My ranking nosedived to 700. You need a couple of results like this so that you’re back on track. I think I’m doing well. It’s still beginning of the year,” he said.

His first round exit to eventual runner-up Alexander Kudryavtsev in the ATP Challenger in Chennai last week in fact helped Bozoljac get back to track as he utilised the period in preparation for the Kolkata ATP.  The Serbian’s big turnaround came on Friday as he snatched victory from being 0-6, 0-3 down to oust top seed Aleksandr Nedovyesov in a brilliant display of rallies. 

The win had given him a special exempt for the next week’s $100,000 ATP Challenger in New Delhi.

There was little for Donskoy in the match on Saturday as Bozoljac broke the higher ranked Russian twice in the first set, once in the opening game and again in the third game to take 4-0 lead.

In the second too, the scene was quite similar as the confident Serbian played good tennis to take a handy 3-0 lead. 

Donskoy tried hard to come back but failed miserably as nothing seemed to go the Russian’s way in the tame loss.

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