NOTTINGHAM, ENGLAND - JUNE 08: Jay Clarke of Great Britain plays a backhand shot during Day 4 of the Viking Open match between Jay Clarke and Kevin Anderson at Nottingham Tennis Centre on June 08, 2021 in Nottingham, England. (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images for LTA)
Tennis | Challenger & ITF Round Up | Clarke claims title in ITF Reggio Emilia
Jay Clarke entered the ITF event in Italy and was unseeded. In the first round the Brit drew second seed Francesco Forti. Clarke forced a tiebreak in the first set, as the Brit stayed with the Italian seed. In the tiebreak, Clarke eased through to take the lead. The second set was much easier for the Brit, as Clarke broke early and secured the win 7-6(3), 6-3.
The second round saw Clarke against another Italian Daniel Bagnolini. The Brit dominated the match for the outset, as the unseeded Italian struggled to get into the game. The first set saw Clarke break at will and take the lead. The second set showed that Bagnolini was struggling. Clarke was once again easing through when the Italian was forced to pull out of the match, handing the Brit the win 6-2, 3-0(RET).
In the quarter-final Clarke was against seventh seed Giovanni Oradini. The Italian stayed with Clarke at the start of the set, and managed to break serve to take the lead. However, Clarke re-grouped in the second set. The Brit forced a tiebreak which he edged through to level up the match. In the final set, the Brit secured the vital break of serve to move into the next round 4-6, 7-6(5), 6-4.
The semi-final saw the Brit against wildcard entrant Giorgio Tabacco. Clarke and the Italian went toe to toe in the first set, with neither giving an inch. Inevitably a tiebreak ensued. In the braker the Brit dominated to ease through and take the lead. The second set saw the Italian once again stay with the Brit. This time Tabacco broke right at the end of the set to level things up. The final set saw Clarke get back on top by breaking serve and taking the match to move into the final 7-6(3), 5-7, 6-4.
In the final the Brit was against another wildcard Julian Ocleppo. This match was easier for Clarke as he was able to break the Italian serve quickly in the first set. The second was a little closer, but eventually, the Brit managed to break serve and lift the title 6-3, 6-4.
Challenger & ITF Round Up
Kyle Edmund was defeated by Julian Ocleppo in the semi-final in Reggio Emilia 3-2 (RET).
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