A LOOK BACK
Santaizi Challenger (Taipei City, Taiwan): If there was any doubt that Yuki Bhambri is fully fit and ready to charge up the ATP Rankings, the 25-year-old made an emphatic statement this week in Taipei. The fourth-seeded Indian blasted to the title at the $150,000 ATP Challenger Tour event, defeating countryman Ramkumar Ramanathan 6-3, 6-4 on Sunday.
Bhambri celebrated a return to the Top 100 of the ATP Rankings for the first time in two years, marching to a career-high No. 83. Having fallen outside the Top 500 following an elbow injury, he is back with a vengeance, claiming his second Challenger crown in five months. He has also qualified for the Australian Open and ATP World Tour Masters 1000 events in Indian Wells and Miami in that span, scoring a career-best win over World No. 12 Lucas Pouille in the California desert.
Bhambri is now a combined 21-6 this year at the tour-level and ATP Challenger Tour. The highest-ranked player from India, he rallied from a set down on two occasions during the week in Taipei, before ousting Ramanathan in one hour and 29 minutes on Sunday.
CDMX Open (Mexico City, Mexico): The inaugural CDMX Open in Mexico City was greeted to rave reviews from players and fans, as tennis returned to the Mexican capital. On Sunday, the tournament’s first edition celebrated a first-time Challenger champion, as Juan Ignacio Londero lifted his maiden trophy. The Argentine qualifier dropped just one set in eight matches to earn the title, culminating in a 6-1, 6-3 defeat of Roberto Quiroz in 52 minutes.
— ATP Challenger Tour (@ATPChallenger) April 15, 2018
Organised by the same team that runs the ATP World Tour 500 event in Acapulco, the CDMX Open made great strides in its first year on the ATP Challenger Tour. Founded in 1939, the stadium court is the oldest in the country and is named after the late Rafael Osuna, the most decorated player in Mexico’s history. Referred to as the ‘Cathedral of Mexican Tennis’, the Estadio Rafael Osuna was sold out on Sunday.
Open Citta Della Disfida (Barletta, Italy): From one first-time champion to another, Londero’s countryman Marco Trungelliti captured his maiden title earlier on Sunday in Barletta, Italy. At the age of 28, Trungelliti finally broke through on the ATP Challenger Tour in his 111th tournament played. He rallied past home hope Simone Bolelli 2-6, 7-6(4), 6-4 in two hours and 33 minutes for the crown.
Not only did the week see two Argentines win their maiden titles, but both did so as qualifiers, claiming eigth match wins in the process. While Londero soars 96 spots in the ATP Rankings to No. 218, Trungelliti jumps 46 positions to No. 191. He previously reached a career-high of No. 126 two years ago.
My First Challenger Title: Nadal’s Historic Victory In Barletta 2003
A LOOK AHEAD
Four tournaments. Four continents.
The Sarasota Open kicks off the U.S. clay-court swing, with Japan’s Taro Daniel leading the charge. A pair of all-#NextGenATP first-round clashes highlight the draw, with Reilly Opelka facing Miomir Kecmanovic and Michael Mmoh meeting Sebastian Korda.
Meanwhile, the ATP Challenger Tour returns to Africa, with the Tunis Open in the Tunisian capital. Jiri Vesely is the top seed. In Nanchang, China, Evgeny Donskoy leads the field alongside second seed Jordan Thompson. And in Guadalajara, Mexico, the four-week Mexican swing continues at the Jalisco Open.