In Aljaz’s first ATP Challenger final as a British player he came up against 20 year old Adam Pavlasek ranked at 209 in the world. Both players got off to a good start holding for 1-1 early on in Rome. Little continued to separate the two players in the opening 5 games with no breaks point on offer with both settling well into the final with Pavlasek leading 3-2 on serve.
Both players continued their good start getting to 4-4 but it was Bedene who saw the first potential opportunity getting to 30-15 on the Czech’s serve and then deuce however Pavlasek held for 5-4 with Bedene now serving to stay in the set with Happy by Pharrell Williams playing at the changeover and both players will be pretty happy with their performances so far. Another deuce game followed this time on Aljaz’s serve but held for 5-5 despite Pavlasek seeing the first break points of the match which were set points but couldn’t capitalise on them. Bedene then saw two break points of his own at 40-15, Pavlasek saved one of them with a drop shot followed by a volley at the net and saved the other to get to deuce however the Brit saw a third break point after a poor volley at the net from his opponent and he took it to lead 6-5 with the court DJ playing Happy again… maybe they don’t have many songs? Thanks to some good serving Bedene extended his lead and took the first set 7-5 in Rome.
After they gave the court a good soaking at the end of the set Pavlasek got the second set underway and Bedene continued to impress getting to 40-15 on the Czech’s serve after a double fault. Pavlasek continued to impress with good play at the net and won four points in a row to hold for a 1-0 lead. Pavlasek saw a break point of his own but again couldn’t convert after some good work from the Brit who so far in the match saved all 3 break points on his serve. Bedene carved out another 40-15 opportunity but couldn’t take it when he should have gone down the line instead of cross court and the Czech kept ahead on serve at 2-1. The start of the second set was definitely more open than the first with opportunities to break for both players and Pavlasek looked like he may get another opportunity to break at 30-0 but four points in a row and Bedene held for 2-2. Bedene saw 3 more breaks points and took the 3rd to lead 3-2 in the second set. Another opportunity came and went for Pavlasek getting to 30-0 but some good serving from the Brit got him out of trouble and consolidated the break for a 4-2 lead. Another three break points were then on offer for Pavlasek and he took a 5-2 lead after another error from his opponent and Bedene would serve for the title. Bedene had no problem serving it out and finished with an ace to claim his first title as a British player!