©

Sebastian Korda is one of nine #NextGenATP winners and 14 first-time champions on the ATP Challenger Tour in 2020.

The Numbers Game: 2020 ATP Challenger Tour

A deep dive into the ATP Challenger Tour facts and figures in 2020...

Karatsev Tops Wins Leaderboard
Aslan Karatsev was nearly unstoppable on the Challenger circuit in 2020. The Russian amassed a tour-leading 27 match wins in just eight tournaments this year, concluding his breakout campaign with a 27-6 record. Francisco Cerundolo and Dmitry Popko finished tied for second with 23 victories apiece, while France's Arthur Rinderknech ended his impressive season with 22 wins.

Meanwhile, Carlos Alcaraz was the most consistent performer, boasting a 83.3 win percentage (min. 19 matches played). The Spanish teen took full advantage of his opportunities, claiming 20 of 24 matches played in 2020. Karatsev was the only other player with at least 80 per cent matches won (81.8).

Since returing from the COVID-19 shutdown, only two players posted 20 wins or more. Cerundolo led the ATP Challenger Tour with a 22-6 record following the restart on 17 August. Alcaraz finished a close second with 20 victories.

Player Match Wins
Win Percentage
Aslan Karatsev
27 81.8
Francisco Cerundolo
23
76.7
Dmitry Popko
23
54.8
Arthur Rinderknech
22 64.7
Daniel Altmaier
21
63.6
Carlos Alcaraz
20
83.3
Daniel Elahi Galan
20
69.0
Bernabe Zapata Miralles
20
66.7

Alcaraz, Cerundolo Claim Most Titles
Alcaraz and Cerundolo were the only players to lift three trophies in 2020. The Spaniard entered the history books with his title treble, capturing his maiden crown in Trieste, Italy, and following that with back-to-back victories on home soil in Barcelona and Alicante. The 17-year-old became the youngest to ever win titles in consecutive weeks and the second-youngest (Gasquet) to triumph on at least three occasions prior to his 18th birthday.

Cerundolo's three victories also came on clay courts. The Argentine celebrated his maiden moment with a title in Split, Croatia in October and added a second crown in Guayaquil, Ecuador one month later. In the final week of the season, the 22-year-old would conclude his campaign in style with a victory in Campinas, Brazil.

Jurij Rodionov, J.J. Wolf, Arthur Rinderknech and Steve Johnson dominated the early months of the season, all winning a pair of titles before the COVID-19 shutdown. Taro Daniel, Marc-Andrea Huesler, Ilya Ivashka and Aslan Karatsev also lifted multiple trophies in 2020.

Player Total Clay Hard  Carpet
Carlos Alcaraz
3
3
 
 
Francisco Cerundolo
3
3
 
 
Taro Daniel
2

2
 
Marc-Andrea Huesler
2
1
 
1
Ilya Ivashka
2
  2
 
Steve Johnson
2
  2
 
Aslan Karatsev
2
2
   
Arthur Rinderknech
2
  2
 
Jurij Rodionov
2
  2
 
J.J. Wolf
2
  2
 

You May Also Like: Challenger Season In Review: 20 Storylines In 2020

Teen Titans
Four different teenagers accounted for a total of six Challenger titles this year, with Alcaraz the lone player with multiple crowns (Trieste, Italy and Barcelona & Alicante, Spain). At 17 years and 3 months, he joined Felix Auger-Aliassime and Alexander Zverev as the youngest champions since 2010.

At the age of 18, Lorenzo Musetti won his maiden title in Forli, Italy, carrying the momentum from a Round of 16 finish at the ATP Masters 1000 event in Rome. He would dominate on the clay of Forli, becoming the youngest to defeat four Top 100 players in one week since 2000.

 

Brandon Nakashima and Tomas Machac were the other teenage winners in 2020. Nakashima became the youngest American titlist since Frances Tiafoe in 2017, while Machac's victory marked the first time a Czech teen had lifted a Challenger trophy since Jiri Vesely in 2013.
Player Title Age
Carlos Alcaraz
Trieste, ITA
17 yrs, 3 mos.
Carlos Alcaraz
Barcelona, ESP
17 yrs, 5 mos.
Carlos Alcaraz
Alicante, ESP
17 yrs, 5 mos.
Lorenzo Musetti
Forli, ITA
18 yrs, 6 mos.
Brandon Nakashima
Orlando, USA
19 yrs, 3 mos.
Tomas Machac
Koblenz, GER
19 yrs, 4 mos.

 

Biggest Movers To Top 150
Seven of the Top 8 movers to the year-end Top 150 won Challenger titles in 2020. Alcaraz jumped 350 spots to a year-end position of No. 141 in the FedEx ATP Rankings. Musetti leapt 233 places to No. 128 and Daniel Altmaier soared 191 spots to No. 130.

Player Ranking Jump
Year-End 2019 - 2020
2020 Titles
Carlos Alcaraz
+350
491 - 141
3
Lorenzo Musetti
+233
361 - 128
1
Daniel Altmaier
+191
321 - 130
0
Aslan Karatsev
+158
270 - 112
2
Jurij Rodionov
+157
301 - 144
2
Marc-Andrea Huesler
+132
280 - 148
2
Sebastian Korda
+131
249 - 118
1
Francisco Cerundolo
+109
248 - 139
3

Title Leaders By Country
Players from 22 countries won titles this year. Mohamed Safwat became the first from Egypt to lift a trophy since 1996, while Cem Ilkel was the first from Turkey to do so since 2016.

The United States boasted a tour-leading 11 titles from nine different players, followed by Spain (7) and Germany (5). It marked the third time in four years that the American contingent has led the tour in titles.

Country

Finals W-L

Winners

United States

11-3

Wolf-2, Johnson-2, Blanch-1, Kwiatkowski-1, Cressy-1, Tiafoe-1, Korda-1, Kudla-1, Nakashima-1

Spain

7-7

Alcaraz-3, Zapata Miralles-1, Taberner-1, Munar-1, Martinez-1

Germany

5-2

Kohlschreiber-1, Hanfmann-1, Otte-1, Stebe-1, Marterer-1

Argentina

4-3

Cerundolo-3, Bagnis-1

First-Time Winners
The shortened season did not stop 14 players from celebrating their maiden moments in the spotlight on the ATP Challenger Tour. Prior to the COVID-19 shutdown, it was Machac, Rinderknech, Ilkel, Safwat, Thai-Son Kwiatkowski and Roman Safiullin crashing the party. They would be followed by Alcaraz, Musetti, Nakashima, Cerundolo, Meligeni, Sebastian Korda and Spaniards Carlos Taberner and Bernabe Zapata Miralles.

Alcaraz became the youngest first-time winner since a 16-year-old Felix Auger-Aliassime in 2017, while 29-year-old Safwat is the oldest first-time winner since Spain's Sergio Gutierrez-Ferrol in 2018.

Alcaraz's Achievements
-Youngest champion from Spain since Rafael Nadal in 2003.
-Second-youngest to win three titles. Only a 16-year-old Richard Gasquet was younger.
-One of five players to win three titles before 18th birthday, joining Gasquet, Auger-Aliassime, Novak Djokovic and Juan Martin del Potro.
-Youngest ever to win titles in consecutive weeks.
-The clutch factor: 9-0 in tie-breaks in 2020 and 11-3 in deciding sets since the restart.

Fast Facts

  • Ulises Blanch pulled off the stunner of the year in the first week of the season. At No. 419 in the FedEx ATP Rankings, he became the lowest-ranked winner in 2020, lifting his second Challenger trophy in Ann Arbor.
  • This year, one player saved a match point in a Challenger final. Thiago Monteiro survived a thriller in Punta del Este, Uruguay, turning aside three championship points to defeat Marco Cecchinato.
  • A total of nine #NextGenATP stars (born 1999 or later) won titles. In addition to teens Alcaraz, Musetti, Nakashima and Machac, it was 20-year-olds Sebastian Korda and Jurij Rodionov lifting trophies.
  • The ATP Challenger Tour featured two champions aged 35 and older in 2020. Philipp Kohlschreiber (36) won in the opening week of the season in Canberra, while Stan Wawrinka (35) kicked off the restart with a title in Prague.
  • Andrey Golubev led the doubles circuit with six titles - three with Aleksandr Nedovyesov and three with Ariel Behar. Behar and Gonzalo Escobar, meanwhile, had the most success of any duo. The Uruguayan-Ecuadorian team won titles in Newport Beach and Istanbul, reached two more finals in Aix-en-Provence and Parma and posted a 14-1 record together.
  • Qualifiers claimed one title, with Alcaraz winning seven matches in nine days in Trieste. He became the first player born in 2003 to lift a trophy.
  • Two players successfully defended titles: Thiago Monteiro on the clay of Punta del Este, Uruguay and J.J. Wolf on the indoor hard courts of Columbus, USA.
  • One unseeded wild card won a title: Musetti on home soil in Forli, Italy.
  • Marc-Andrea Huesler was the only player to win titles on multiple surfaces. The Swiss prevailed on the clay of Sibiu, Romania, before taking the title on the carpet courts of Ismaning, Germany.
  • Longest final: The longest final registered at two hours and 51 minutes, with Monteiro beating Cecchinato 7-6(3), 6-7(6), 7-5 in Punta del Este.
  • Shortest completed final: The shortest final registered at just 58 minutes, with Thai-Son Kwiatkowski downing Daniel Elahi Galan 6-4, 6-1 in Newport Beach, USA.
  • Two Top 40 players entered a Challenger in 2020. World No. 34 Taylor Fritz reached the third round in Newport Beach, while 17th-ranked Wawrinka won the title in Prague. The Swiss is the highest-ranked champion since No. 14 Ivan Ljubicic in Zagreb 2005.
  • A total of seven players made their Top 100 debut in the FedEx ATP Rankings in 2020. Dennis Novak did so in January and was followed by Attila Balazs and Gianluca Mager in February. Emil Ruusuvuori, Marcos Giron, Federico Coria and Pedro Martinez entered the club following the restart.
  • Kohlschreiber's victory in Canberra came 14 years and one month after his most recent Challenger crown (Reunion Island 2005). It is the fourth-longest gap between titles on the circuit.
  • Paolo Lorenzi finished the season with 418 career match wins on the ATP Challenger Tour. He is currently just five victories behind Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo for the all-time lead.

More stories like this in: