Tennis

Ilija Bozoljac wins Kolkata ATP Challenger

Ilija Bozoljac breezed past Evgeny Donskoy in straight sets to claim the title in style. Photo: Sushanta Patronobish  

Unseeded Ilija Bozoljac of Serbia thrashed third-seeded Evgeny Donskoy of Russia 6-1, 6-1 to win the State Bank of India $50,000 ATP Challenger at the BTA Complex on Saturday.

Having made the final without dropping a set, the Serb overwhelmed Donskoy with a fine blend of powerful serving and penetrative groundstrokes.

Bojoljac, who had ousted top-seeded Aleksandr Nedovyesov, stamped his authority right at the beginning, breaking in the opening service game.

Bozoljac sent down 11 aces, and hardly allowed the higher-ranked Donskoy a look. He also had six double faults.

Turning things around

“I was struggling with my concentration for quite some time and was regularly losing matches from advantageous positions. But this tournament was different as I was able to get my focus back,” said Bozoljac, who has lost six ATP Challenger finals since winning successive titles in September 2008 in Banja Luka, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Ljubljana, Slovenia.

“I am still working on getting back the power and precision in my service, so I had to play better off the ground to get over the deficit,” said the Serb after winning his fourth ATP Challenger title, and his first after a gap of more than five years.

“The ego often tends to obstruct variable thinking that would make a player change his game according to situation. Similarly, for me it was more of a fight within as I tried to shrink my ego to change my game and win the title ultimately,” the Serb said, looking ahead to the bigger $100,000 Challenger event in Delhi next week.

The result: Ilija Bozoljac (Srb) bt Evgeny Donskoy (Rus) 6-1, 6-1.


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Printable version | Jul 22, 2021 3:03:43 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/tennis/ilija-bozoljac-wins-kolkata-atp-challenger/article5693915.ece

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