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ÖTV: Upper Danube Austria Open supported by SKE: Pouille is thrilled and victorious

ÖTV: Upper Danube Austria Open supported by SKE: Pouille is thrilled and victorious

The former top 10 in the world rankings gives Józef Kovalik no chance in the ATP Challenger title fight in Mauthausen.

The singles title at the Danube Upper Austria Open powered by SKE will go to Lucas Pouille in 2024. The Frenchman (ATP 229) claimed the victory trophy over Slovakia's Jozef Kovalik (ATP 160) in the ATP 100 clay court final in Mauthausen on Sunday afternoon. The 30-year-old won 6:3, 6:3 after about 1:17 hours and was able to celebrate his first tournament success since 2019. A nice bonus: a big jump in the ATP rankings.

Bowie 'very happy with the way things are going now'

Pouille was already world class, and that is exactly what the five-time ATP champion wants to achieve again. In the final of the Upper Danube Austria Open supported by SKE, the former world number 10 showed her quality and underscored her future ambitions against Kovalik. With this success, Pouille not only increased his points tally by 100 points, but also improved in the live ATP rankings from 229th to 163rd. For him, this is his first victory in the tournament since May 2019, when he achieved his victory in Bordeaux (ATP ). Challenger) celebrated the last coup yet. In January 2024, he had already reached the final of another ATP Challenger tournament in Thailand, but failed to do so.

The ATP Challenger Tournament final in Mauthausen started evenly. Both Bowie and Kovalik shined with their precise play. However, the longer the match went on, the more momentum the Frenchman gained. After winning the first set, he was already 4-0 ahead in the second round before he started to wobble a bit. Kovalik resisted and wasted four break points when the score was 3:5, so the resistance was broken. After converting match point, Pouille's relief was clearly noticeable. After Michael Eder, Chief Operating Officer of SKE Engineering GmbH, presented Kovalik with the trophy for second place, Sportland Upper Austria's State Sports Director, Gerhard Romichofer, presented the trophy and the “Upper Austria” jacket to the championship winner. Upper Austria Governor Thomas Stelzer and Economics and Sports Chancellor Markus Achleitner were guests during the tournament week and enjoyed the tennis spectacle at the Danubis Tennis Centre.

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“It's my first title in five years. A lot has happened during this time. I'm very happy with the way things are going now. I've had a great week and I'm really happy. But you've seen that it's never easy to finish the game. It's been a long time since I won Last time, so I was very nervous – but there was no need for it “Joseph had nothing to lose and played freely,” explained Pouille, who thus managed to avenge the future defeat of twelve years ago now setting his sights on the French Open. After winning, I hope to get a wild card, otherwise I will attack in the qualifiers. I want to get back into the top 100 at the US Open and thus get into the main competition. “This is the most important intermediate goal, then we will see.”

To be absent: Bowie is “on his way back to the top”

The final word for the day went to tournament director Florian Letgeb. “We are very happy. We have seen a great winner on his way back to the top. I am convinced that we will hear a lot of positive things from him. It is hoped that he can build on his previous successes. We wanted to offer the public the best tennis again, and we were able to do that once again.” Another one this year.