Packed Stadium Sees Stakhovsky Claim Portoroz Title
Revisit the week that was on the ATP Challenger Tour as we applaud the achievements of those on the rise and look ahead to who’s in action in the week to come
A LOOK BACK
Zavarovalnica Sava Slovenia Open (Portoroz, Slovenia): Ukraine’s Sergiy Stakhovsky makes a return to the Top 100 in the Emirates ATP Rankings after rallying from a set and a break down to deny Italy’s Matteo Berrettini 6-7(7), 7-6(6), 6-3 in Portoroz. The 31-year-old Kiev native is projected to return to World No. 99 with his sixth Challenger title and first since May 2016 in Seoul.
#NextGenATP Italian Berrettini will break into the Top 150 for the first time with his fourth Challenger final. Meanwhile, the event brought a close to the career of local favourite, former World No. 43 Grega Zemlja. The Slovenian won six titles on the ATP Challenger Tour.
Nordic Naturals Challenger (Aptos, California, USA): Kazakhstan’s Alexander Bublik boosted his chances of qualifying for the inaugural Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan with a 6-2, 6-3 victory over Brit Liam Broady in Aptos. It is the 20 year old’s second Challenger title of the season after Morelos, Mexico in February and boosts him to a career-high No. 104 in the Emirates ATP Rankings. It is the 12th time this season a NextGenATP player has won on the ATP Challenger Tour. It brought Broady’s run of six straight wins to an end, having won through qualifying.
mt.ten Cup (Jinan, China): Yen Hsun Lu’s extraordinary run continued with a 29th ATP Challenger Tour title in Jinan. The top seed took down former World No. 50 Ricardas Berankis of Lithuania 6-3, 6-1 to make it back-to-back Challenger titles. The 33 year old of Chinese Taipei won last week in Chengdu and earlier in the year in Taipei City. He has not dropped a set in his past seven finals and extends his record in Challenger finals to 21-3 since 2008. Lu is projected to rise nine places in the Emirates ATP Rankings to No. 61. Berankis was searching for his second Challenger title of the season after his triumph in the Shymkent Challenger, Kazakhstan.
Claro Open (Floridablanca, Colombia): In an all-Argentine final, top seed Guido Pella took down Facundo Arguello 6-2, 6-4 to claim his 12th Challenger title and second of the year after Milan. The 27 year old did not drop a set all week and surges 17 spots to No. 75 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, his highest position since November last year.
A LOOK AHEAD
Four Challenger events will take place this week, headed by the $125,000 Milex Open, in Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. Three players in the Top 100 head the seedings, with Bosnian World No. 73 Damir Dzumhur top seed, followed by former World No. 9, Nicolas Almagro. This week’s Claro Open champion Guido Pella and home hopeful Victor Estrella Burgos round out the top four seeds. NextGenATP prospects Casper Ruud, of Norway, and Chile’s Nicolas Jarry are also seeded.
Seven of the Top 8 seeds in the $100,000 event in Vancouver, Canada, are ranked in the Top 100. Four-time Odlum Brown VanOpen champion Dudi Sela, of Israel, returns. The 32 year old former World No. 29 boasts a 23-1 record at the tournament and is just the fifth player in Challenger history to win four or more titles at the same event. Australia’s 23-year-old Jordan Thompson is seeded second. Thompson beat World No. 1 Andy Murray at the Aegon Championships at the Queen’s Club. Romanian Marius Copil and Slovakian Norbert Gombos complete the top four seeds. #NextGenATP French player Quentin Halys takes on local veteran Peter Polansky in the first round. The Canadian is looking to reach his fourth straight Challenger final on home soil. NextGenATP players Taylor Fritz, Duckhee Lee, Sebastian Ofner and Noah Rubin will also start.
The $75,000 Challenger in Cordenons, Italy, is back for a 14th year. Serbian Laslo Djere and Spaniard Guillermo Garcia-Lopez are the top two seeds. Recent Segovia Challenger champion Jaume Munar, of Spain, is also part of the field.
Lastly, the $50,000 event in Meerbusch, Germany, returns for a fifth year and boasts two Top 60 players as its top two seeds. Local hopeful Florian Mayer, a runner-up in the recent German Open on the ATP World Tour is No. 1 seed, followed by World No. 60 Steve Darcis, of Belgium.
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