• Tournament Director Martin Claesson together with winner Andrey Golubev and finlist Karen Khachanov.

    Golubev lucky winner in Jonkoping

    The singles final was a drama with three tiebreak sets and four lost match points for Karen Khachanov to look back on. It took 2 hrs 44 minutes to finish and was the tournament longest match. Finally Andrey Golobev from Kazakhstan could lift the trophy in the first ever RC Hotel Open and in the first ATP Challenger tournament in Sweden since 1996.

    Karen Khachanov will soon be a top 100 player, don’t argue on that one. This week he produced most aces of all players, 49. He played a future power game that will take him to the top. The 19 year old won his first challenger last year and was close in Jonkopings Racketcenter, holding four match points. No title this week but his time will come.

    After winning the first set in tiebreak with the score line 11-9 Khachanov had a 6-5 lead in games in the second set and was serving for the match, reaching 40-15 just to see opponent Andrey Golubev come back. In the same game he had a new advantage but Golobev played unbelievable well in tough situations. He might also have a small advantage in touch, variation and angles compared to his opponent. And also some experience to fall back on, ten years older than Khachanov. In the following tiebreak in the second set Khachanov also had a 4-2 and a 5-4 lead only to see Golubev slip away with the set.

    In the third set Khachanov faced another match point in Golubevs serve at 6-5, 30-40. After that point Golubev was the more relaxed player with no mistakes.

    “A really crazy match. It was up and down but I am very happy. And at this time of the year with a limited number tournaments it is perfect to pick up 90 points”, says Golubev.

    The Kazakhstanian also served well with 40 aces for the week and winning almost 79% of the points behind his first serve. And of course he had the best statistic of all players during the week, winning points behind second serve, 62%. Looking in to the statistic he also has some good numbers as a returner winning almost one third of his games as a returner.

    Golubev says he wants to make a try to come back to top 100. He once was ranked as number 33. This win is fore sure a little step in a final that was amazing in a lot of ways. The standard was ATP class and the players have been very satisfied with the organization that was tested with a new event in an arena where the Hotel and restaurant just opened up days before the players arrived.

    “You couldn´t tell. There have been no bad surprises at all and the organizers should be happy with everything. No complaints what so ever so hoping to see more challengers in Sweden coming years”, says Golubev.

    On Saturday evening some of the players attended to the opening ceremony and gala dinner of RC Hotel. TV-sport star Karin Frick, with her roots in Jonkoping, was the master of ceremonies and the late evening also included a performance from Swedish pop star Petra Marklund.

    Listen to Andrey Golubev on the Youtube channel.

    (Picture: Tournament Director Martin Claesson together with winner Andrey Golubev and finlist Karen Khachanov.)