Go Soeda has now won 10 career Challenger titles.
© Lintao Zhang/Getty Images
KAILUA, Hawaii – Go Soeda from Japan claimed the singles title at the 2012 Honolulu Challenger, a $50,000 USTA Pro Circuit Challenger event, held at the Kailua Racquet Club, Jan. 23-30.
No. 1 seed Soeda beat American Robby Ginepri, 6-3, 7-6 (5), to claim his 10th ATP Challenger Tour title.
"Robby is a very good player, and I was so happy to beat him," said Soeda, who is the tournament’s highest-ranked player at No. 99 and plays on the Japan Davis Cup team. "It was tough. He never gives up and tried to win. He gave me a lot of pressure. I played well, too, on those few points to win."
Prior to the Honolulu Challenger, Soeda competed in the qualifying rounds of the Australian Open and was a semifinalist at the Aircel Chennai Open, an ATP World Tour event, where he beat No. 22 Stanislas Wawrinka in the quarterfinals. He competed in the main draw of the 2011 French Open and came into the Honolulu Challenger with nine ATP Challenger Tour titles.
"He was very consistent, and that’s how he was playing the whole week," said Ginepri, ranked No. 313, about playing Soeda.
Ginepri has won three career ATP singles titles. In addition, he has reached the fourth round or better at all four Grand Slam events, peaked at No. 15 in the world rankings in 2006 and competed for the U.S. Davis Cup team in 2004 and 2009.
"He took his chances. He was coming in, putting pressure on my second serve when he had to," said Ginepri about fighting to stay on serve in the second set. "I was hoping to go into a third set. I felt like I would have had the momentum, but he played a good tiebreak and match, and he’s a tough competitor."
Ginepri returned to the USTA Pro Circuit in 2011, working to regain form after an arm injury kept him out of action from October 2010 through the middle of last year. In his first tournament back, Ginepri reached the quarterfinals at the $50,000 Challenger in Winnetka, Ill., and he later advanced to the final of the $100,000 Challenger in Vancouver.
In doubles, the unseeded team of Amer Delic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and American Travis Rettenmaier overcame the No. 3 duo of Jack Sock and Nicholas Monroe, 6-4, 7-6 (3).
"We just got lucky throughout the tournament; couple lucky bounces here and there," said Delic, who partnered with Rettenmaier for the first time. "That’s the way these doubles are; it’s intense."
Delic, holds a No. 210 rank in singles. Delic is originally from Bosnia and currently plays on Bosnia Davis Cup Team. He holds dual American citizenship and was a hitting partner on the U.S. Davis Cup team in 2009.
"It feels fantastic," said Rettenmaier about the doubles win. "The key to doubles is to get a great partner that carries you when you play terrible. It was fantastic to be in Honolulu to win the tournament, and I am thrilled."
Travis Rettenmaier is from Southern California and holds a doubles ranking of No. 155. In 2010, Rettenmaier enjoyed doubles success with Mexican Santiago Gonzalez, where they won their first ATP World Tour title together in the Serbia Open in Belgrade and reached the final at the Campbell’s Hall of Fame Tennis Championships in Newport.
"It was a good match overall, and they played well at the big moments, and that’s probably why they got it done," said Sock who just won his second career USTA Pro Circuit title at the $10,000 Futures in Plantation, Fla., prior to coming to Hawaii. He is No. 380 in singles and is the 2011 US Open mixed doubles champion with Melanie Oudin. "That’s tennis."
"We were excited to be in the finals and, of course, you want to come out and play your best. Obviously, Travis and Amer played really well," said Monroe about taking on Delic and Rettenmaier.
Monroe holds a current No. 178 doubles rank and was a former University of North Carolina standout who won the bronze medal at the 2011 Pan Am Games in Guadalajara, Mexico.
"We tried to step up our game in the second set and almost had some chances to come back," said Monroe. "They came up with some great shots when they needed to and that’s how tennis goes. We congratulate them."
The 2012 Honolulu Challenger presented by American Saving Bank was held at the Kailua Raquet Club, Jan. 22-29, 2012.
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 33 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 nearly $3 million in prize money. Last year, more than 1,000 men and women from more than 70 countries competed in cities nationwide. Mardy Fish, Maria Sharapova, Andy Roddick, Caroline Wozniacki, James Blake, Li Na and Andy Murray are among today’s top stars who began their careers on the USTA Pro Circuit.
2012 Honolulu Challenger
Kailua Racquet Club
Honolulu, HI, USA
Surface: Hard - Outdoor
January 22 - January 29, 2012
Sunday, January 28 – RESULTS:
Singles – Finals
Go Soeda (1), Japan, def. Robby Ginepri, United States, 6-3, 7-6 (5).
Doubles – Finals
Amer Delic, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Travis Rettenmaier, United States, def. Nicholas Monroe and Jack Sock (3), United States, 6-4, 7-6 (3).