He's Got Seoul: McDonald Rallies For Second Title
A LOOK BACK
Vitro Seoul Open Challenger (Seoul, Korea): Mackenzie McDonald has found his groove as we enter the month of May. The American returned to the winners' circle with an impressive performance on the hard courts of Seoul, capped by a 1-6, 6-4, 6-1 comeback victory over Jordan Thompson in Sunday's final.
McDonald lifted his second ATP Challenger Tour crown and first since October, when he prevailed at home in Fairfield, USA. This time, however, the California native found his top gear more than 5,000 miles away from home to take the title at the $100,000 event. Most importantly, he jumps 32 spots in the ATP Rankings to a career-high No. 114.
"I'm thrilled about my win," said McDonald. "This is my first time in Asia and I'm happy I could start it off on a good note. The conditions were tough this week with the weather and getting acclimated, but I'm happy with how I competed and battled throughout the tournament."
The 23-year-old picked up where he left off after bursting out of the gates to open his 2018 campaign. A second round result as a qualifier at the Australian Open was followed by a runner-up finish to Kei Nishikori at the Challenger event in Dallas. And now, he celebrates his first trophy of the season. Having started the year outside the Top 180, McDonald is already closing in on a Top 100 breakthrough.
St. Joseph's/Candler Savannah Challenger (Savannah, Georgia, USA): Hugo Dellien capped a stunning three-week stretch on the green clay with a 6-1, 1-6, 6-4 victory over Christian Harrison in the Savannah final. The Bolivian has soared more than 100 spots in the ATP Rankings to a career-high No. 129, posting a 13-1 mark in that span. Read more about Dellien's impressive run...
Puerto Vallarta Open presentado por La Afición (Puerto Vallarta, Mexico): Top seed Adrian Menendez-Maceiras rallied from a set down three times during the week to emerge with the title in Puerto Vallarta. He overcame first-time finalist Danilo Petrovic 1-6, 7-5, 6-3 in Saturday's championship.
Just steps from the pristine beaches that make the region a popular tourist destination, the inaugural tournament in Puerto Vallarta earned rave reviews from players and fans. And the 32-year-old Spaniard capitalised on the perfect conditions to notch his fourth Challenger title, continuing his Top 100 quest.
Glasgow Trophy (Glasgow, United Kingdom): Scotland returned to the ATP Challenger Tour with the inaugural indoor hard-court event in Glasgow. In the end, it was top seed Lukas Lacko staying true to form in clinching his 12th Challenger crown and first of the year. The Slovakian defeated Italy's Luca Vanni 4-6, 7-6(3), 6-4 on Sunday, emerging with the trophy after two hours and nine minutes.
“It definitely was not easy," said Lacko. "Luca beat me two years ago and both of us like this faster surface where the balls bounce low. So I knew it was not going to be easy and in the end it was just two points that made the difference. I took my chances.”
Prosperita Open (Ostrava, Czech Republic): Belgium's Arthur de Greef had won just five matches from his last 19, as he entered the week at the Prosperita Open. But the 26-year-old turned around his fortunes in a flash, battling to the title on the red clay of Ostrava. De Greef defeated Croatian Nino Serdarusic 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 to lift his second Challenger trophy on Sunday. Both of his victories have com on Czech soil, having previously triumphed in Liberec in 2016.
A LOOK AHEAD
As the ATP World Tour's European clay-court season kicks into high gear at the Mutua Madrid Open, the ATP Challenger Tour features a trio of tournaments on the Euro dirt.
The prestigious Open du Pays d'Aix is back for a fifth edition. Frances Tiafoe won the title last year and fellow #NextGenATP American Stefan Kozlov is hoping to replicate the feat this week. He is joined by 2016 champion Thiago Monteiro, top seed John Millman and an in-form Cameron Norrie.
In Portugal, the party continues at the inaugural tournament in Braga, which marks the beginning of a two-week swing in the country. A loaded bottom half of the draw features teens Casper Ruud, Alex de Minaur and Felix Auger-Aliassime.
At the Garden Open in Rome, Ruben Bemelmans is the top seed and Hugo Dellien looks to continue his impressive stretch. Taro Daniel, who won his maiden ATP World Tour title on Sunday in Istanbul, is seeded third.