A LOOK BACK
Fuzion 100 Ilkley Trophy (Ilkley, UK): Sergiy Stakhovsky had one foot out of the tournament in the first round. Staring down four match points in his opening affair against Liam Broady in Ilkley, the Ukrainian stormed back to stay alive. And he did not drop a set from there.
Stakhovsky would go on to oust top seed Jordan Thompson and #NextGenATP star Michael Mmoh, before defeating Oscar Otte 6-4, 6-4, in Sunday’s final. With the title, he earns a wild card into the main draw of Wimbledon, as has long been tradition for Ilkley champions.
It was Stakhovsky’s 11th professional crown – four at the ATP World Tour level and seven on the ATP Challenger Tour – and second on grass. He previously lifted the trophy at the Libema Open in ‘s-Hertogenbosch in 2010.
Internationaux de Tennis de Blois (Blois, France): The script was nearly complete. Felix Auger-Aliassime was one victory from securing a historic fourth Challenger crown, moving the Canadian teen into solo second place among players aged 17 & under. But Scott Griekspoor had other plans.
The Dutchman entered the week in Blois with just one Challenger match win in the past two years, and he would leave with his maiden title. Griekspoor stunned fifth seed Auger-Aliassime 6-4, 6-4 in one hour and 53 minutes on Sunday, saving seven of eight break points faced. The 27-year-old had never defeated a Top 200 opponent entering the tournament and he would reel off four straight such wins to lift the trophy. He rises 66 spots to a career-high No. 216 in the ATP Rankings.
Now, he’s a champion… pic.twitter.com/2wa6YbpT1u
— ATP Challenger Tour (@ATPChallenger) June 24, 2018
Internazionali Tennis Citta L’Aquila (L’Aquila, Italy): The inaugural tournament in L’Aquila, located in central Italy, saw sixth seed Facundo Bagnis capture the title on Sunday. The Argentine celebrated his 12th ATP Challenger Tour crown and first since 2016, upsetting home favourite Paolo Lorenzi 2-6, 6-3, 6-4. It was his third three-set victory of the week.
Poprad Tatry Challenger (Poprad Tatry, Slovakia): Fourth seed Jozef Kovalik streaked to the title in Poprad Tatry on Saturday. The Slovak dropped a combined seven games in a semi-final win over Zdenek Kolar and final triumph over Arthur de Greef, securing his third ATP Challenger Tour title and first in more than two years. Kovalik, age 25, rises 33 spots to No. 117 in the ATP Rankings, as he continues his charge towards a Top 100 debut.
— ATP Challenger Tour (@ATPChallenger) June 23, 2018
Fergana Challenger (Fergana, Uzbekistan): Top seed Nikola Milojevic notched his maiden ATP Challenger Tour title on the hard courts of Fergana. After three previous runner-up finishes, including one in the Uzbek city last year, Milojevic earned his moment in the spotlight with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Enrique Lopez Perez on Sunday. The 23-year-old Serbian rises 20 spots to No. 164 in the ATP Rankings.
A LOOK AHEAD
With the majority of today’s ATP Challenger Tour stars competing in Wimbledon qualifying, there is only one event on the calendar. Surging teens Felix Auger-Aliassime and Nicola Kuhn join top seed Laslo Djere at the Aspria Tennis Cup in Milan. Auger-Aliassime and Kuhn will hope this won’t be their only trip to Milan this year, with the Italian city hosting the Next Gen ATP Finals in November.