THRILLING THIRD-SET TIEBREAK GIVES ESCOBEDO 2016 KENTUCKY BANK TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIP TITLE
Krajicek claims women’s singles title in three sets
LEXINGTON, Kentucky, July 31, 2016 – Ernesto Escobedo (USA) won a thrilling third-set tiebreak with fellow American, Frances Tiafoe (USA) to cap off his first-career ATP Challenger Title on Sunday afternoon, as he was crowned the 2016 Kentucky Bank Tennis Champion in front of a great crowd at the Hilary J. Boone Varsity Tennis Center in Lexington.
The women’s title was also claimed in three sets as Michaella Krajicek (NED) defeated Arina Rodionova, 6-0, 2-6, 6-2 on the main stadium courts in Lexington.
In the first set of the men’s final, Escobedo took an early lead on Tiafoe, breaking at 2-1 for a 3-1 lead, and would see the rest of the set out with four successive holds, fighting off two break points in two separate service games along the way. In the second set, Tiafor took an early break off Escobedo, breaking him in the first game of the set, before consolidating it for a 4-1 lead. In the 4-2 service game for Tiafoe, he was broken by Escobedo to level the set and send the match to a second-set tiebreak.
Tiafoe took an early break and 3-0 lead in the tiebreak before earning it back at 5-4 to level the tiebreak at five all. After a changeover at 6-6, Tiafoe broke on Escobedo’s serve for a 7-6 lead, and then served out the next point to push the match to a third and deciding set.
In the third set, both players held all six service games, with Tiefoe fending off three break points at 0-40 at one point in the 3-3 game, but was able to use his serving power to take the 4-3 game and eventually push the match to a tiebreak.
Ernesto broke first on Tiafoe’s opening-tiebreak serve to give him the 1-0 lead, and then Tiafoe broke back for 2-1 to put the tiebreak back on level terms. Escobedo then broke for 3-1 and served out his two points for a 5-1 lead. After a couple of service holds for Tiafoe, Ecsobedo closed out his first-career ATP Challenger title to win the tiebreak, 7-3, and take the match 6-2, 6-7 (6), 7-6 (3)
On the women’s side, Kraijcek won in a wild match that had three sets, numerous breaks of serve, and a champion crowned. In the first set, Kraijcek won all six games after opening the match with a break of serve, and then doing that three times, all with consolidation and serving at a high level to take the opening set, 6-0.
In the second set Kraijcek dropped the frame 6-2, after being broken two times by Rodionova, who was not broken at all in the second set by Kraijcek. The 6-2 second set in favor forced a decisive third set on the stadium courts for the championship.
The set was level at 1-1 before Kraijcek broke first to take a 3-1 lead and then consolidated it for the hold of the break. Rodionova was not done, as she broke back to get the set on level serving at 3-4, but Kraijcek immediately broke back to make it 4-5 and force Rodionova to serve to stay in the match. Kraijcek broke at 30 to give herself the championship over Rodionova, 6-0, 2-6, 6-2 and claim her first Lexington Challenger title.
2016 Kentucky Bank Championships
A USTA Pro Circuit Event
Sunday, July 31, 2016 – (Day 9)
Hilary J. Boone Varsity Tennis Center
Saturday, July 31 – Results
Men’s Singles – Final
Ernesto Escobedo (USA) def. (7) Frances Tiafoe (USA), 6-2, 6-7 (6), 7-6 (3)
Women’s Singles – Final
Michaella Krajicek (NED) def. Ariana Rodionova (AUS) 6-0, 2-6, 6-2
ABOUT THE USTA PRO CIRCUIT:
With approximately 90 tournaments hosted annually throughout the country and prize money ranging from $10,000 to $100,000, the USTA Pro Circuit is the pathway to the US Open and tour-level competition for aspiring tennis players and a frequent battleground for established professionals. The USTA launched its Pro Circuit 37 years ago to provide players with the opportunity to gain professional ranking points, and it has since grown to become the largest developmental tennis circuit in the world, offering over $3 million in prize money. Last year, more than 1,000 men and women from more than 70 countries competed in cities nationwide. John Isner, Sam Querrey, Sloane Stephens, Kei Nishikori, Victoria Azarenka and Andy Murray are among today’s top stars who began their career on the USTA Pro Circuit.
For more information, contact:
CHRIS SHOALS, Tournament Press Aide