ATP Tour weekly title wrap: Challenger events conclude

WHILST Indian Wells got underway last week, not every player took the opportunity to compete at the ATP 1000 event, with four Challenger Tour tournaments running over the past week.All four ATP 80 or 90 tournaments were completed with a number of experienced players standing up.

In the highest ranked tournament in Mouilleron-Le-Captif France, second seed and world number 84 Jiri Vesely took the chocolates over Slovakian and eighth seed Norbert Gombos in the final. Vesely won 6-4 6-4 at the only hard court event of the quartet of Challenger events. Vesely served nine aces to Gombos’ 11, but won 86 and 69 per cent of his first and second serve points respectively, compared to the fourth seed Slovakian’s 73 and 48 per cent. The winner also broke twice from six chances, and did not face a break point, to rise up two spots in the world rankings. The biggest shock of that tournament was when top seed and world number 61 Benjamin Bonzi lost in the first round to a qualifier.

Moving onto the clay of Barcelona, it was the unseeded Bulgarian in Dimitar Kuzmanov who stunned top seed and French Next-Gen talent Hugo Gaston in a dominant final, 6-3 6-0. Kuzmanov came into the tournament ranked 218th in the world, but bolstered his ranking by 32 spots up to 186th, with a win of the 111th ranked Gaston. The match lasted just 72 minutes as Kuzmanov served at 74 per cent compared to a shocking 41 per cent from Gaston, and broke him six time, whilst winning 62 and 57 per cent of his first and second serve points, while Gaston recorded 32 and 44 per cent. Kuzmanov also toppled another rising talent in Slovakian Alex Molcan in the semis, winning 7-5 7-6 in that contest.

Meanwhile in Napoli, fourth seed Dutchman Tallon Griekspoor spoiled the party for home nation talent, Italian Andrea Pellegrino in straight sets, 6-3 6-2. The match lasted 68 minutes on the Italian clay, with Griekspoor’s 72 and 62 per cent first and second serve success rate compared to Pellegrino’s 51 and 40 per cent, the difference. The fourth seed also broke his opponent four times from five chances, whilst saving three out of four break points he faced himself.

In Santiago, the final was a momentum swinging came with third seed Peruvian Juan Pablo Varillas coming out on top over fifth seed Argentinian Sebastian Baez. Winning the first set 6-4, Varillas was a break down in the second set, but hit back to draw level again and win the last three games of the match to secure the 6-4 7-5 victory. The match lasted an hour and 44 minutes, with Varillas winning 73 per cent of his first serve points compared to Baez’s 52 per cent, and also broke five times to three in the match.


Mouilleron-Le-Captif ATP 90: [2] Jiri Vesely (CZE) defeated [8] Norbert Gombos (SVK) 6-4 6-4

Santiago Challenger ATP 80: [3] Juan Pablo Varillas (PER) defeated [5] Sebastian Baez (ARG) 6-4 7-5

Barcelona ATP 80: Dmitar Kuzmanov (BUL) defeated [1] Hugo Gaston (FRA) 6-3 6-0

Napoli ATP 80: [4] Tallon Griekspoor (NED) defeated Andrea Pellegrino (ITA) 6-3 6-2


Picture credit: Remy Chautard

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments