O'CONNELL CLAIMS THIRD CHALLENGER TITLE, PUSHES TOWARDS TOP 100


Photograph: Split Open

Split, Croatia


[3] Chris O’Connell (AUS) def. Zsombor Piros (HUN) 6-4, 2-0 ret.


27-year-old Australian Chris O’Connell has claimed his third career ATP Challenger title overnight, in Croatia’s Split Open.


O’Connell did not drop a set across his five matches for the week, capping it off by earning a strong lead in the final before his Hungarian opponent retired with a back injury.




The title helps O’Connell to build on his promising start to 2022, where he reached the Australian Open third round, on the back of a career-best win over 13th seed Diego Schwartzman.


The Aussie has now risen up to No. 129 in the live ATP rankings, up from No. 175 at the beginning of the year, including a jump of 18 places with the Split title.


O’Connell will continue his season at the ATP Challenger in Rome this week, where he will meet Croatian Nino Serdarusic in the opening round.


The 27-year-old, who was cleaning boats on Sydney’s Pittwater Harbour in 2018, is defending very few points over the next couple of months, providing a real opportunity to close in on an ATP top 100 debut.



Prague, Czech Republic


Sebastian Ofner (AUT) def. Dalibor Svrcina (CZE) 6-0, 6-4


Elsewhere on the ATP Challenger Tour, Austrian Sebastian Ofner also won his 3rd career title at the level in the TK Sparta Prague Open.


The 25-year-old will rise from No. 216 to 189 in the ATP rankings on the back of his successful week. Ofner, who missed the Australian Summer with a heel injury, will head to the Ostrava Challenger event this week as he looks to continue his winning run.



Aguascalientes, Mexico


[3] Marc-Andrea Huesler (SUI) def. [8] Juan Pablo Ficovich (ARG) 6-4, 4-6, 6-3


25-year-old Swiss Marc-Andrea Huesler capped off the most successful month of his career, taking out the San Marcos Open.


The title is Huesler’s fifth overall at ATP Challenger level from just six finals and his second over the past few weeks. The left-hander’s ranking will rise to a career-high No. 127, up from No. 144 last week and 183 at the start of April.



Tallahassee, USA


Tung-Lin Wu (TPE) def. Michael Mmoh (USA) 6-3, 6-4


23-year-old Tung-Lin Wu claimed the first Challenger title of his tennis career this week in Florida, overcoming local hope Michael Mmoh to lift the trophy.


Wu, who was playing at ITF level just two months ago, has now made a major jump in the ATP rankings, moving up over 60 places to No. 221 and nearing a top 200 debut.


Wu, who dreams of becoming a sports commentator, will continue his season this week at the Savannah Challenger.