O’Connell wins second ATP Challenger title for 2022

Australia’s Christopher O’Connell has won his second ATP Challenger title in 2022 to move well into the top 100.

Christopher O’Connell

World no. 102 defeated Japan’s Yosuke Watanuki 6-1, 6-7(5), 6-3 to claim the Ch80 title in Yokohoma.

That goes with his CH80 title won in Split, Croatia back in April, and it is the fourth Challenger title of his career.

O’Connell now sits at no. 84 in the live rankings, which is a career-high once the rankings are updated on Monday.

The Australian was facing three break points in the opening game of the match before holding serve. Watanuki held before O’Connell won six straight games to claim the opening set and then break in the first game of the second set.

World no. 227 Watanuki immediately broke back for 1-1. Both players then held serve to take the set to a tie-breaker.

Japan’s Watanuki got a mini-break to lead 5-3. That was enough to see him take the second set.

Watanuki saved a break point in the second game, and three more in the fourth game to keep games on serve.

O’Connell got a break in the sixth game to lead 4-2. From there he was able to hold serve to claim the title.

Meanwhile back in Australia, it was Marc Polmans that ended up as runner-up in the NSW Open, a CH80 event.

Polmans lost to Chinese Taipei’s Yu Hsiou Hsu 6-4, 7-6(5).

Melbourne, Australia – 21 January 2020 – Marc Polmans in his round one match against Mikhail Kukushkin (Photo by Rob Keating)

The Australian had a game point at 4-5 before being broken to lose the opening set. He also was serving for the second set at 5-4 before being broken.

The second set was decided in a tie-breaker.

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