October 26th, 2017

Pembroke Pines’ Kozlov Wins Las Vegas Challenger Tennis Title

General News Pro Tennis

Stefan Kozlov (right) and Liam Broady

Teen Stefan Kozlov of Pembroke Pines, Fla., won the ATP Challenger-level Las Vegas Open title last weekend in Nevada, where the No. 4 seed in the final defeated unseeded Liam Broady of Great Britain 3-6, 7-5, 6-4.

The 19-year-old served for the match at 5-3, 40-15 in the third set but could not close it out, eventually crossing the finish line at 7-5.

“We both just put it on the line today and it was 50-50,” Kozlov told the crowd afterwards at the Fertitta Tennis Complex on the campus of UNLV. “We were both left gasping for air and it wasn’t easy. It could have gone either way today. I was very impressed with Liam’s sportsmanship today.”

Kozvlov in the semifinals upset top-seeded Tennys Sandgren 6-1, 6-0. Broady en route to the final upended No. 2 seed Cameron Norrie and No. 8 Reilly Opelka.

“I haven’t had the best last couple of months, a lot of ups and downs,” said Kozlov, who won his second career ATP Challenger event, and improved to 6-6 in finals on the pro minor-league circuit. “For all the downs, you have to kind of look for the ups and today I had to dig deep for my up.”

The result elevated the Floridian to No. 125 on the ATP rankings. Broady’s loss dropped the 23-year-old Brit to 7-8 in career finals at the ITF/ATP Challenger/USTA Pro Circuit level.

In the doubles final the top-seeded team of American Brydan Klein and Joe Salisbury of Great Britain beat the No. 3-seeded team of Hans Hach Verdugo of Mexico and American Dennis Novikov 6-3, 4-6, 10-3.