The Year 2016 On The ATP Challenger Tour Part III – March

Winner and runner-up in San Luis Potosi: Pedja Krstin and Marcelo Arevalo (photo: Ivan Salinas Palacios)

The month of March at the ATP Challenger Tour started with four tournaments. Eduardo Struvay was the champion of the $100,000 Abierto de Puebla, the 15th edition of the tournament, but the first since 2009. The Colombian defeated Peda Krstin of Serbia 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 in the final of the hard court event.

On the clay in Chile, Facundo Bagnis emerged victorious from the $50,000 ATP Cachantún Cup held in Santiago. The top seeded Argentine Facundo Bagnis successfully defended his title with a three sets win over Rogerio Dutra Silva from Brazil.  “I won again here, it feels like a second home for me,” Bagnis told afterwards.

The finalists of the ATP Challenger in Jönköping (photo: RC Hotel Open)

The finalists of the ATP Challenger in Jönköping (photo: RC Hotel Open)

In Europe, Andrey Golubev beat NextGen star Karen Khachanov from Russia in the final of the inaugural €42,500 RC Hotel Open in Jönköping.

“A really crazy match,” Golubev said after his 6-7, 7-6, 7-6 victory. “It was up and down but I am very happy. And at this time of the year with a limited number tournaments it is perfect to pick up 90 points”, says Golubev.

Thomas Fabbiano triumphed in Asia, winning the first edition of the $50,000 Zhuhai Challenger. The Italian defeated local favourite Zhang Ze of China 5-7, 6-1, 6-3.

A busy week with five tournaments started on March 14. Three ATP Challengers took place in America with Marcel Granollers lifting the trophy of the $125,000 Irving Tennis Classics. The Spaniard ousted defending champion Aljaz Bedene 6-1, 6-1.

Malek Jaziri captured the title of the $100,000 Jalisco Open presentado por Aeromexico. The 32-year-old from Tunisia rallied back in the final against  Stephane Robert to celebrate a 5-7, 6-3, 7-6 victory.

Daniel Evans won the all-British-final of the $50,000 Challenger Banque Nationale de Drummondville. The 25-year-old Birmingham native defeated Edward Corrie 6-3, 6-4 to claim his third ATP Challenger title.

In Asia, Nikolov Basilashvili took the title of the $50,000 GDD Cup in Guangzhou. The man from Georgia overcame Lukas Lacko of Slovakia 6-1, 6-7, 7-5.

Tobias Kamke from Germany lifted the $40,000 Kazan Kremlin Cup by winning the final over Russia’s Aslan Karatsev 6-4, 6-2.

The week of March 21, Dudi Sela of Israel claimed the title of the $75,000 Gemdale ATP Challenger in Shenzhen. Sela defeated Wu Di from China in straight sets.

Pedja Krstin (photo:  Ivan Salinas Palacios)

Pedja Krstin (photo: Ivan Salinas Palacios)

Pedja Krstin won his maiden Challenger crown on the clay courts in San Luis Potosi. The Serbian eased past Marcelo Arevalo from El Salvador 6-4, 6-2 in the final of the $50,000 event.

“It has been my second Challenger final within the last three weeks. I reached my maiden final in Puebla and lost in three sets,” Krstin told afterwards.

“I started very well today, which is very important but I was also the luckier player in certain situations today. I feel good here in Mexico, almost like at home. So I am very happy.” 

In the final week of the month, Evgeny Donskoy hoisted the trophy of the $125,000 Israel Open in Ra’anana. The Russian beat Ricardas Berankis of Lithuania in the final 6-4, 6-4.

“Thank you everyone for coming today. I hope you enjoyed the tennis today. Today was a hard match. I’m good friend with Ricardas, so I was a little bit nervous on the court, but I guess I was just more lucky today,” Donskoy told.

Michael Berrer, who is going to end his career this week, claimed his last internation title in León. The German veteran won the $75,000 Torneo Internacional Challenger against Joao Souza of Brazil.

“I felt really good today. I do not really remember when I won my last title. It feels like ages ago,” Berrer was happy after taking his first Challenger crown since Mouilleron-Le-Captif in 2013. “It was an amazing week here. I played really well, it could not have been much better.”

Back in Europe, Frenchman Alexandre Sidorenko triumphed on home soil, winning his first Challenger title at the €42,500 Open Harmonie mutuelle in Saint-Brieuc. The wild card entry fought past Igor Sijsling from the Netherlands in three sets.

“I do not know how, but I managed to win the title,” Sidorenko was happy afterwards. “I think I played a good tournament. I am proud of myself.”