Virtanen, Marozsan Win Challenger Titles To Reach Career-Highs
After claiming their maiden ATP Challenger Tour titles in 2022, Finland’s Otto Virtanen and Hungarian Fabian Marozsan returned to the winners’ circle this week and are both now at career-high marks in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings.
Virtanen, 21, claimed the Lugano Challenger while Marozsan won on the clay courts of Antalya, Turkey.
In Switzerland, Virtanen defeated Turkish qualifier Cem Ilkel 6-4, 7-6(5) in the final to collect the Challenger BancaStato Citta Di Lugano and climb to No. 139 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings.
A two-time Challenger titlist, Virtanen earned his first Challenger title this past October when he advanced through qualifying en route to winning the Bergamo Challenger.
The 23-year-old Marozsan dropped just one set all week to win the Megasaray Hotels Open. In the championship match, the second seed downed Sebastian Ofner 7-5, 6-0.
After Marozsan’s maiden title in Banja Luka in August, the Budapest native has enjoyed more breakthrough moments on the Challenger Tour. The Hungarian No. 2 (behind Marton Fucsovics) was a finalist at the 2022 Bratislava Challenger and reached the final four in Alicante. Following his triumph in Antalya, Marozsan rises to 134 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings.
At the Puerto Magico Open in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, Benoit Paire captured his seventh Challenger title and first since November 2015. Four of the Frenchman’s five matches went the distance, including in the first round, where he fended off a match point to survive Nicolas Mejia.
Benoit Paire is crowned champion at the 2023 Puerto Vallarta Challenger. Credit: Barbara Ramos Villalobos
In the final, Paire rallied from a set down to defeat Japan’s Yuta Shimizu 3-6, 6-0, 6-2.
“It was a very good week for me,” Paire said. “Mentally I was ready, I fought until the end. The first one was not easy, I was match point down. I’m really happy about this week.”
At the Challenger Santiago - Copa Kia in Chile, Bolivian Hugo Dellien ousted Brazilian qualifier Thiago Seyboth Wild 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 to claim his ninth Challenger title and third in Chile’s capital city (2019, 2022).
Hugo Dellien collects the title at the Santiago Challenger. Credit: Challenger Santiago - Copa Kia
In Dellien’s quarter-final match, the 29-year-old escaped a three hour, 36 minute marathon against seventh seed Franco Agamenone 6-7(5), 7-6(3), 7-6(5).
“I’m happy with how I played all week,” Dellien said. “I knew it was going to be a difficult final. I felt comfortable and very good physically.
“For me it is a pleasure to come to Chile and feel the love of the people. It is a very special tournament. I have always done well and I hope that every time I will return it will be like this.”