World No. 70 Filippo Volandri fought his way from a set down to take the ATP Challenger Tour Finals title.
Italy’s Filippo Volandri had to come back from a set down against Colombia’s Alejandro Gonzalez to win the ATP Challenger Tour Finals, having met Gonzalez in the earlier round-robin stage.
Gonzalez won their earlier match 6-3, 6-3 and it looked as though the Colombian was starting in much the same style as he took the first set, but the Italian rallied to defeat him 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 to win his 12th Challenger title.
Volandri found himself broken to lose the first set, despite saving three set points and responded by breaking immediately at the start of the second set. The Italian’s backhand proved to be a force to be reckoned with.
Gonzalez was burned several times after staying back during baseline rallies by drop shots to catch him out as the Volandri began to get into his stride. It was another early break at the start of the third set that put the Italian in the driving seat, sealing the deal with a second break.
"I want to congratulate Gonzalez on the tournament," said Volandri. "It was a great final and a very special moment for me. I'm getting older and I can't miss these opportunities. I know that Gonzalez will have many other opportunities to win titles."
As with the other season-ending finales, the Challenger tour adopts a round-robin stage before the semi-finals and final, which gave Volandri a chance to play himself into form.
"Day by day I was playing better and today was quite different from Saturday. With no sun today, the ball wasn't as fast as it was the first day [against Gonzalez], so it was good for me and I took my chances."
Gonzalez had effectively defended all break points in their round robin match, but Volandri made no such mistake in the final – capitalising on seven out of eight chances.
"Volandri is an amazing player," said Gonzalez. "He deserved this title. For me, it was a great week. I'm happy to reach the final and also for the entire season this year."