Maha Open | Vacherot battles past Walton to clinch title

Updated - February 25, 2024 11:07 pm IST

Published - February 25, 2024 08:45 pm IST - PUNE

Champion Valentin Vacherot and Adam Walton in the Maha Open Challenger tennis tournament.

Champion Valentin Vacherot and Adam Walton in the Maha Open Challenger tennis tournament. | Photo Credit: Kamesh Srinivasan

Valentin Vacherot overcame a steely Adam Walton in a stormy final for a memorable 3-6, 7-6(5), 7-6(5) victory in the $133,250 Maha Open Challenger tennis tournament at the Balewadi Stadium on Sunday.

It was an electrifying atmosphere with the fans cheering strong as both the players lifted their game to a high standard for an entertaining fare.

It was the third Challenger title of the season for the 25-year-old Vacherot, but he said that it was the best as he loved the atmosphere.

“I had won two Challengers in January in Thailand, but this was great to win in front of you,” said Vacherot, whose big serves did the trick for him as he fired 13 aces in the match that spanned two hours and 39 minutes.

The champion collected $18,230 and 100 ATP points. The runner-up won $10,730 and 50 points.

Vacherot had to fight hard right through. In the first set, he led 3-1 before losing the next five games.

In the second, Vacherot led 5-2 before Walton turned it around to take it to the tie-break. Vacherot clinched the tie-break with a sharp volley.

Into the third set, Vacherot led 5-3, but could not serve it out at 5-4. Walton’s lob return fell on the line, and another return clipped the net and fell in the Aussie’s favour. After saving one break point, Vacherot made two errors to let Walton level the score at 5-5. The Aussie served it out at love, firing two aces to show that he was ready for the climax. Vacherot stepped it up with his serve and all-court game to force the tie-beak.

At the turn, it was Walton who led 4-2 in the tie-break, but Vacherot showed that he was the champion as he won five of the next six points, slumping on to the court in celebration as Walton’s forehand sailed wide.

It was the 11th singles title for Vacherot who will be breaking into the top-150 in the next ranking list.

The result (final):

Valentin Vacherot (Mon) bt Adam Walton (Aus) 3-6, 7-6(5), 7-6(5).

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