BANJA LUKA/STARNBERG, September 13, 2021
Argentine teenager Juan Manuel Cerundolo captured his third ATP Challenger Tour title by winning the €44,820 Srpska Open on Sunday evening. In front of packed stands and under the lights on Center Court of the Tenis Klub Mladost TSRS in Banja Luka, the 19-year-old defeated No. 4 seed Nikola Milojevic of Serbia 6-3, 6-1.
No. 2 seed Cerundolo fought his way to the championship match through the bottom half of the draw with wins over Malek Jaziri of Tunisia, Croatia’s Matija Pecotic, Chun-hsin Tseng of Chinese Taipei and third favourite Tomas Etcheverry from Argentina.
In the singles final of the lone ATP Challenger event in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the World No. 135 from Buenos Aires capitalized on five of his eight break-point chances to secure victory in one hour and 20 minutes.
The 🇦🇷 reeled off 8 sets in a row to lift the 🏆. pic.twitter.com/Sz0LCYw6Fi
— ATP Challenger Tour (@ATPChallenger) September 12, 2021
Cerundolo went back-to-back on the clay of the Internazionali Citta di Como in Italy and the Srpska Open, earning €6,190 in prize money as well as 80 ATP Ranking points.
With his victory in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the lefty became the third-youngest Argentine to win three titles in ATP Challenger history. Only Juan Martin del Potro (17 years, 10 months in Segovia 2006) and Guillermo Coria (18 years, 10 months in Montevideo 2000) were younger when they lifted their third trophies. Cerundolo has reached a new career-high ranking of World No. 108 and is up to seventh position in the ATP Race To Milan.