News from the National Bank Challenger, July 9-17 at Winnipeg Lawn Tennis Club. Visit the tournament website:

Soeda Wins Men’s Singles Title

Go Soeda of Japan edged Slovenia’s Blaz Kavcic 6-7(4), 6-4, 6-2 in Sunday’s men’s final at the National Bank Challenger.

Soeda served for the first set at both 5-4 and 6-5, only to see Kavcic rally to win in a tiebreak. With Kavcic serving 4-3 up in the second set, Soeda came back to win the last three games and carried the momentum into the third set. The match lasted just over two and a half hours.

“This is a very big win for me,” said Soeda, 31.

Soeda is ranked No. 149 in the world. He’s now won 18 ATP Challenger Tour singles titles over his career.

“It’s great to play on Sunday – many people to watch,” Soeda said. “It’s a great feeling.”

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Di Lorenzo Captures Women’s Singles Title

In the women’s singles final, Francesca Di Lorenzo of New Albany, Ohio beat Erin Routliffe of Caldeon, Ontario 6-4, 6-1.

“It feels great,” said Di Lorenzo, a semifinalist in junior girls’ singles and junior girls’ doubles at the 2015 US Open. “It’s been a long week and I’ve been pretty focussed the whole week in trying to achieve the goal of winning the tournament – one step at a time, one match at a time.”

Sunday’s victory marked Di Lorenzo’s first Challenger circuit singles title. The 18-year-old won her first professional singles title last summer at a Futures event in Austin, Texas.

Against Routliffe, Di Lorenzo trailed 3-1 in the first set before winning 11 of the last 13 games of the match.

“I started making more first serves and I started getting the ball a little bit deeper,” Di Lorenzo said on how she turned the first set around in her favour. “I was hitting short (early in the match) and she was attacking and she was putting balls away. I started getting it higher, deeper – not giving her the opportunity to attack and then taking my opportunities when she hit it short.”

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Di Lorenzo/Yurovsky Win Women’s Doubles

Francesca Di Lorenzo captured a second title at the National Bank Challenger Sunday, teaming up with fellow American Ronit Yurovsky to beat the Canadian pair of Marie-Alexandre Leduc/Charlotte Robillard-Millette 1-6, 7-5, 10-6 in the women’s doubles final.

“They were pretty aggressive in the first set, putting pressure on us,” Di Lorenzo said. “They were coming to the net a lot and we were a little bit defensive. In the second set I think we put the pressure on them more.”

Di Lorenzo was 10-0 in total matches played in Winnipeg.

“It’s been a good tournament,” said Di Lorenzo. “I’m very happy. I think we played well in doubles and I think I did well in singles. It’s exciting to be here. I love playing here, so hopefully I’ll be back.”

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