The 2016 ATP Challenger Tour calendar contained 166 tournaments, with prize money ranging from $40,000 up to $125,000. It was the 40th edition of Challenger tournaments cycle, and eighth under the name of “ATP Challenger Tour”. Tennis TourTalk is having a review of the season in eleven parts to close the year.
The month of September started with six tournaments, held in the first week. Jerzy Janowicz won his first ATP Challenger event in four years by taking the title of the €106,500 AON Open Challenger in Genova. The 25-year-old from Poland ousted top seed Nicolas Almagro 7-6, 6-4 in the final.
Casper Ruud had a dream run and became the champion of the €42,500 Copa Sevilla, held at the Real Betis Tenis Club. The only 17-year-old from Norway won seven matches in eight days and defeated the tournament’s number three Taro Daniel in the final 6-3, 6-4. The youngster has become the third winner on the ATP Challenger Tour to hail from Norway, joining father Christian (12 times champion) and Jan Frode Andersen (three times champion).
“Huge thanks to everyone for all kind feedbacks and messages, it means very much to me! Today was amazing!!!,” Ruud posted on twitter.
Jan-Lennard Struff was the man of the week at the Tean International Tennis Tournament held at the Alphense Tennisclub. The 26-year-old German won the singles as well as the doubles competition of the €42,500 ATP Challenger event. Struff upset top seed and local hero Robin Haase in the final, winning 6-4, 6-1.
Daniil Medvedev claimed his maiden title on the ATP Challenger Tour, winning the eighth edition of the €42,500Trophée des Alpilles, held at the Tennis Club Saint Remy de Provence. In the pair’s first meeting, the 20-year-old Russian beat Joris de Loore from Belgium 6-3, 6-3.
On the clay courts in South America, Diego Schwartzman captured the title of the $50,000 Claro Open Barraquilla. The Argentine beat Rogerio Dutra Silva from Brazil 6-4, 6-1.
On the hard courts in Asia, Henri Laaksonen lifted the trophy of the $50,000 Shanghai Challenger, winning the final 6-3, 6-3 over Jason Jung from Taipei.
Six more tournaments were held in the week of September 12. Alessandro Giannessi became the champion of the €106,500 Pekao Szczecin Open. The 26-year-old from Italy beat third seed Dustin Brown 6-2, 6-3 in the final to claim his maiden title. Giannessi, who appeared in his first title match on the ATP Challenger Tour since July 2015 when he finished runner-up to Albert Ramos in San Benedetto, saved all of the five break points he faced, converting four of his own to prevail in exactly one hour of play.
“It was just a perfect match today,” Giannessi was happy afterwards. “I have achieved a couple of good results in recent times. I showed a solid performance at the US Open with a high-class-match against Stan Wawrinka. And now my first title here. Everything this week went into the right direction. I really feel that I deserve to win the trophy, which is wonderful.”
Adam Pavlasek captured the title of the €64,000 Banja Luka Challenger, winning the final against Miljan Zekic from Serbia 3-6, 6-1, 6-4. “Of course I have had an amazing week here. I had a lot of tough matches, so I am happy that I won today,” Pavlasek told.
Malek Jaziri took the hard court title of the $75,000 Amex-Istanbul Challenger. The Tunisian rallied back from a set down to overcome Dudi Sela from Israel 1-6, 6-1, 6-0.
Japanese Hiroki Miroya beat Hyeon Chung of Korea 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 to claim the $50,000 ATP Challenger China International – Nanchang.
In the United States, qualifier James McGee from Ireland upset the tournament’s eighth seed Ernesto Escobedo in a 1-6, 6-1, 6-4 victory to win his first ATP Challenger title and become the singles champion of the 2016 Atlantic Tire Championships.
“It’s a dream for me to finally get a Challenger title,” McGee told. “Last year, I was in the final in two events, in San Luis Potosi and Savannah, and it didn’t quite happen there. In the middle of the year I had a surgery on my knee and it was a blow to my confidence. I wasn’t feeling as good as I knew I could be. But in the last few months I’ve been feeling better and playing better. “Coming into this event, I thought I was playing well but I never thought I’d win the whole thing. To win eight matches in a row is amazing.”
Six more tournaments took place the week of September 19. Hyeon Chung clinched the title of the $125,000 OEC Kaohsiung, as he emerged victorious from the all-Korean-final with Duck-Hee Lee 6-4, 6-2.
Marsel Ilhan was crowned €64,000 Türk Telecom İzmir Cup champion, winning 6-2, 6-4 over Turkish compatriot Cem Ilkel.
Playing in his first ATP Challenger Tour event, Ohio State junior Mikael Torpegaard claims the $50,000 Columbus Challenger singles title, defeating world number 97 Benjamin Becker 6-4, 1-6, 6-2 inside the OSU Varsity Tennis Center.
Maximilian Marterer captured his second ATP Challenger title within seven days, winning the €42,500 event in Kenitra against Mohamed Safwat of Egypt 6-2, 6-4. The German youngster lifted the trophy in Meknes the week before with a straight sets final victory over Uladzimir Ignatik.
“Thanks for the support,” Marterer told during the on-court ceremony. “Also special thanks to my coach. We have only worked together for about three months and I already took my second title. This is unbelievable.”
In Europe, Robin Haase captured the title of the €42,500 Sibiu Open. The Dutch edged past Lorenzo Giustino of Italy 7-6, 6-2.
Renzo Olivo was successful in South America, winning the $50,000 Campeonato Internacional de Tenis de Santos. The Argentine beat Thiago Monteiro from Brazil 6-4, 7-6.
In the final week of the month, Pierre-Hugues Herbert won the €106,500 Open d’Orléans, held indoors. The Frenchman fought past Norbert Gombos from Slovakia 7-5, 4-6, 6-3.
Still outdoors on clay, Jan Satral became the champion of the €42,500 BFD Energy Challenger, held at the Due Ponti Sporting Club in Rome. The 26-year-old from the Czech Republic upset top seed Robin Haase 6-3, 6-2 in the final.
Darian King of Barbados defeated US-American qualifier Michael Mmoh 7-6, 6-2 to win the $100,000 Tiburon Challenger singles title. The 24-year-old earned his third title of 2016 and was pleased with his performance: “I’m from a small island where this never really happens. I hope to be back next year,” said King.
Facundo Bagnis triumphed in Colombia, winning the $50,000 Claro Open Medellín with a 6-7, 7-5, 6-2 victory over Brazilian Caio Zampieri in the final.