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Unfortunately it came at the expense of Aussie Aleks Vukic, but for 20 year old American Ben Shelton his star continued to shine this morning AEDT after securing the ATP Challenger, Champaign Illinois Final 0-6, 6-3, 6-2 to cap off a magical three weeks winning back to back to back titles on the Challenger Tour, the youngest player ever to do so.

His win over Vukic also elevated him inside the top 100 for the first time to world number 97, a 40-11 season from June, where he was ranked 547 in the world competing in six Challenger finals in an incredible run. Watch out for him closely when he comes to Australia in January.

For Vukic it has been a strong finish to the season making back to back finals in Calgary and Champaign, finishing runner up, after a three month injury layoff mid year. He will be at 140 in the rankings.

In Kobe, Japan, it was a local that prevailed with seventh seed Yosuke Watanuki lifting his second Challenger trophy with a 6-7, 7-5, 6-4 win over Portugal's Frederico Ferreira Silva.

The 24 year old on the way to the final defeated Aussie Chris O'Connell in two tights sets 6-4, 7-6. It was another good week in Asia for O'Connell who has gone SF, Title and SF to move inside the top 80 for the first time at 79 officially.

O’Connell downed in-form Marc Polmans in the quarterfinals to make it eleven victories from twelve matches and move himself into the last four.

Polmans now has nine wins from his past eleven matches (including a qualifying win on Sunday) which has boosted him up to world number 335 in the ATP live rankings – a jump of over 450 places in just seven weeks.

In Kobe doubles action, Aussies Andrew Harris and J.P Smith fell just short of a second consecutive ATP Challenger title in Japan.

After teaming up last week in Matsuyama to win their first title as a pair, Harris, and Smith again reached the final but fell 6-4, 6-4 to Shinji Hazawa and Yuta Shimizu.

On their way to Saturday’s decider, the duo overcame fellow Aussies Jason Taylor and Marc Polmans in the semi-finals – to make it seven straight victories as a pair.

It is Smith’s seventh Challenger doubles final for the season and helps to maintain his doubles ranking at 85 in the world.

Meanwhile, Harris’ fourth Challenger final for 2022 moves him inside the ATP doubles top 150 for the first time.

Elsewhere 32 year old Canadian Vasek Posposil won on home soil as the third seed, taking out the Drummondville Challenger 7-6, 4-6, 6-4 over second seed Michael Mmoh. It is his 11th title at this level and second this year for the former World Number 25. The victory takes him back to exactly 100 in the ATP Rankings.

Peru's Juan Pablo Varillas as the second seed upstaged the top seed Facundo Bagnis of Argentina 7-6, 4-6, 6-4 to win in Sao Leopoldo in Brazil. It is the 27 year old's fifth ATP Challenger trophy.

In Helsinki, Finland a big week for Swiss qualifier Leandro Riedi. The 20 year old winning his first Challenger Trophy 6-3, 6-1 over fifth seed Czech Tomas Machac in a season where he has also claimed his first ITF singles titles winning three, a 48-19 season to date that has taken him from 695 to 197 live in a breakout 2022.

Aussies in upcoming ATP Challenger action: (Week of November 21)

Andria, Italy

Main Draw:

Aleks Vukic vs Qualifier

Yokkaichi, Japan

Main Draw:

[2] James Duckworth vs Qualifier

[8] Dane Sweeny vs Yunseong Chung (KOR)


[1] Marc Polmans (into final round)


[2] Andrew Harris (with Victor Vlad Cornea)

Jason Taylor (with Colin Sinclair)


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