By Owen Morgan
Evan Hoyt has continued his successful Australian tennis adventure in fine style by winning a first ATP Challenger title.
The Llanelli right-hander won the doubles event at the Apis Canberra Tennis International alongside, playing partner Tung-lin Wu, of Chinese Taipei.
The pairing clinched the title in a closely fought final against established home duo Thomas Fancutt and Jeremy Beale.
An extremely tight first set went to a tie break, which Hoyt and Wu eventually won, 7-5.
The second followed a similar pattern until the Australians broke serve in the 11th game before serving out the set to win 7-5 and level the match.
In ATP Challenger Doubles, if the match is all-square after two sets a first to 10-point tie-breaker is played to decide the match.
Congratulations to our Apis Canberra International men’s doubles champions Evan Hoyt (GBR) and Tung-Lin Wu (TPE) who defeated Jeremy Beale (AUS) and Thomas Fancutt (AUS). #ApisCBRIntl #protour @HoytEvan pic.twitter.com/a3jIim9M3l
— Tennis ACT (@TennisCanberra) November 3, 2018
Hoyt and Wu made the better start to the decider, opening up a 7-2 lead. The Australians fought back to level at 8-8, but the visiting pair took the next two points to clinch the tie-breaker and the title by 10-8.
Hoyt had already won two ITF Futures titles in Brisbane and Cairns as well as reaching another singles final in Darwin during his seven week trip Down Under.
The Junior Davis Cup winner also registered his first ATC Challenger main draw singles win at the Latrobe City Traralgon Challenger event before losing to world 101-ranked Australian Jordan Thompson in the last 16.
His successes saw him climb to career high placings in the world singles and doubles rankings, along with a place in the British top 10. Hoyt’s latest success should see him climb even higher than his current standing of 376 when the new ATP world doubles rankings are announced next week.
However, this latest success is a step up in prestige and quality, coming in the second tier of world professional tennis, which brings more money and ranking points.
Hoyt and Wu’s route to the final started with a hard fought victory over Australia’s Blake Ellis and Maverick Banes in the round of the last 16.
The pairing cruised to the first set by 6-2 but were pegged back in the second which the home duo won, 6-4.
Hoyt and Wu eventually prevailed in a close decider by 11-9, which set up a potentially daunting centre court quarter-final against home number two seeds Akira Santillan and Bradley Mousley.
However, the Australians were no match for Hoyt and Wu, who swept into the semi-finals in straight sets – 6-3, 6-2.
The semi against Japanese duo Hiroki Moriya and Yosuke Watanuki saw Hoyt and Wu take the first set on a tie-break.
The Japanese pairing hit back in the second to win 6-4 and set up another match tie-breaker for Hoyt and Wu.
This time the decider was far more clear-cut as they swept their opponents aside to clinch a place in the final by 10-2.