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SIMPLY THE BEST ON THE ATP CHALLENGER TOUR


Lisbon, Portugal


[5] Marco Cecchinato (ITA) def [Q] Luca van Assche (FRA) 6-3, 6-3 - 80


Italy’s Marco Cecchinato has claimed his sixth ATP Challenger singles title and first in over two years, at the 80K level event in Portugal.


Cecchinato, who has always been a clay court specialist – having reached a French Open semifinal despite not winning a match at the other three majors – has now won all fifteen of his pro titles on the surface.


The 30-year-old overcame youngster Luca van Assche in the final to cap off a perfect week where he did not drop a set.


I am very happy to have won this title after such a long time”, Cecchinato said post-match.


After a difficult season on the injury front, the Italian had struggled to find his best form before this event.


It’s very important because it’s been a tough year. I played a lot of matches without confidence, but this week I played really good tennis.”


While Cecchinato rises 23 places to world number 114, van Assche – who is just 18 years of age – will jump up to a live ATP ranking of 231, after reaching his first pro final.


The young Frenchman is certainly one to keep an eye on over the coming years.


Buenos Aires, Argentina


Juan Manuel Cerundolo (ARG) def [4] Camilo Ugo Carabeli (ARG) 6-4, 2-6, 7-5


20-year-old Argentinian Juan Manuel Cerundolo has won his fourth ATP Challenger title, winning an all-Argentinian battle in the nation’s capital.


Cerundolo, who made headlines last year after claiming his maiden ATP title in Corboda, progressed to Sunday’s final without dropping a set.


However, overcoming his counterpart Camilo Ugo Carabeli proved to be a much more difficult task – requiring close to three hours to lift the trophy.


The pair would have been familiar with each other’s’ games, having met on five previous occasions dating back to 2017 on the ITF futures tour.


In this instance, it was Cerundolo who managed to hold his nerve late to claim a tight deciding set, and his first title in twelve months.


The four-time Challenger champion will rise back inside the ATP top 150, whilst Carabeli remains just above, at world number 119.


Orleans, France


Gregoire Barrere (FRA) def [4] Quentin Halys (FRA) 4-6, 6-3, 6-4


28-year-old Frenchman Gregoire Barrere has won his fifth ATP Challenger title and first since March 2019, in his home nation.


Barrere, who had lost his previous five singles finals, triumphed this week despite having to play four of the top five seeds in the draw.


The Frenchman overcame the likes of Martin Fucsovics, Hugo Gaston, and Richard Gasquet to reach the final before claiming a tight battle with Quentin Halys.


In front of a packed French crowd, the 28-year-old played the more consistent tennis to edge Halys and lift the trophy.


The triumph will boost Barrere up to 116 in the live ATP rankings, whilst Halys jumps 10 places to world number 74.


Charleston, USA

The fourth ATP Challenger event of the week was forced into cancellation, after a devastating weather storm hit America’s south-east coast.


Prior to the abandonment, Aussie Jordan Thompson had continued his winning run, progressing to the quarterfinals, and making it seven straight victories on the Challenger tour.


The 28-year-old’s ATP ranking will remain relatively unchanged at world number 84.


Meanwhile, Aussie pair Luke Saville and Andrew Harris entered the doubles draw as the second seeds and were poised for a deep run before the cancellation.

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