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Rudolf Molleker celebrates his maiden ATP Challenger Tour title in Heilbronn, becoming the youngest champion of the 2018 season.

The Numbers Game: 2018 ATP Challenger Tour

ATPWorldTour.com examines the ATP Challenger Tour storylines behind the numbers in 2018

Win-Loss Percentage Leaders
Australia's Jordan Thompson was the lone player to eclipse the 50-win mark this year, capping his campaign with a 52-17 record. It is the second-most match wins in a single season in Challenger history, behind only Carlos Berlocq's 57 victories in 2010.

Meanwhile, Vasek Pospisil was the most consistent performer with a tour-leading .784 win percentage (min. 25 matches played). Pospisil, Reilly Opelka (.756), Thompson (.754) and Christian Garin (.754) were the top performers on the circuit. 

Player Wins-Losses Percentage
Vasek Pospisil 29-8 .784
Reilly Opelka 34-11
.756
Jordan Thompson 52-17 .754
Christian Garin 46-15 .754
Pablo Andujar 21-8 .724
Ugo Humbert  34-13  .723 
Guido Andreozzi  38-15  .717 
Juan Ignacio Londero  40-17  .702 
Hubert Hurkacz 28-12  .700 
Michael Mmoh  30-13  .698 

Singles Title Leaders
A total of seven players won at least three titles this year, with Guido Andreozzi earning a tour-leading four crowns. The Argentine tasted victory throughout the world, lifting trophies on three different continents - South America (Punta del Este, Uruguay & Guayaquil, Ecuador), Africa (Tunis, Tunisia) and Europe (Szczecin, Poland).

It was a frantic finish to the season for Christian Garin, Jordan Thompson and Reilly Opelka, earning their third titles of the year in dramatic fashion. Garin capped his campaign on a 15-0 run, securing all of his crowns in October and November. Thompson finished on a 10-0 run with back-to-back victories on home soil in Australia, while Opelka streaked to a 9-0 finish behind a pair of titles at home in the U.S.

Player Total Clay Grass  Hard  Carpet
Guido Andreozzi 4      
Pablo Andujar 3
     
Hugo Dellien 3      
Christian Garin 3      
Ugo Humbert 3     1
Reilly Opelka 3 1    
Jordan Thompson 3      

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Teen Titlists (8)
Seven different teenagers accounted for a total of eight Challenger titles this year, with Felix Auger-Aliassime the lone player to win multiple crowns (Lyon, France & Tashkent, Uzbekistan). At 17 years, 10 months, his repeat victory in Lyon made him the youngest player to successfully defend a title. And in October, the Canadian became the second-youngest player to win his fourth Challenger crown, behind only Richard Gasquet.

Germany's Rudolf Molleker became the youngest champion of the year, at 17 years and six months, on home soil in Heilbronn. Austrian teen Jurij Rodionov is the youngest from his country to lift a trophy since 1986, triumphing in Almaty, Kazakhstan. 

It was also the third straight season in which a teenager reached a final on both the ATP World Tour and ATP Challenger Tour. Alex de Minaur followed in Taylor Fritz (2016) and Andrey Rublev's (2017) footsteps in achieving the feat.

Player Title Age
Rudolf Molleker Heilbronn, GER 17 yrs, 6 mos.
Felix Auger-Aliassime Lyon, FRA
17 yrs, 10 mos.
Felix Auger-Aliassime Tashkent, UZB 18 yrs, 2 mos.
Alexei Popyrin Jinan, CHN 19 yrs
Jurij Rodionov Almaty, KAZ 19 yrs, 1 mo.
Miomir Kecmanovic Shenzhen, CHN 19 yrs, 2 mos.
Alex de Minaur Nottingham, UK 19 yrs, 4 mos.
Corentin Moutet Istanbul, TUR 19 yrs, 5 mos.

Simon Strikes 52 Aces In Ortisei
Tobias Simon was a serving machine at the Sparkasse Challenger Val Gardena. In the final round of qualifying, he would produce a masterclass on the indoor hard courts of Ortisei, Italy. A total of 52 aces erupted from his racquet, as the German advanced to the main draw with a three tie-break win over Aldin Setkic.

All-time ace stats do not include ATP Challenger Tour qualifying. But, to put the achievement in perspective, the ATP Tour record is 45 by Ivo Karlovic in Halle in 2015.

Title Leaders By Country
Players from 38 countries won titles this year, with Hugo Dellien becoming the first from Bolivia to lift a trophy since 1983. Australia and the United States boasted a tour-leading 17 winners apiece, with 12 different champions from each nation.

Country

Finals W-L

Winners

United States

17-11

Opelka-3, Rubin-2, Mmoh-2, Klahn-2, Fritz-1, Novikov-1, Kudla-1, Eubanks-1, McDonald-1, Blanch-1, Fratangelo-1, Paul-1

Australia

17-14

Thompson-3, Millman-2, Kokkinakis-2, Kubler-2, Polmans-1, Bolt-1, Ebden-1, De Minaur-1, Popyrin-1, Banes-1, Tomic-1, Duckworth-1

Italy

14-15

Quinzi-2, Lorenzi-2, Seppi-1, Berrettini-1, Cecchinato-1, Travaglia-1, Vanni-1, Caruso-1, Sonego-1, Giannessi-1, Baldi-1, Fabbiano-1

Spain

13-14

Andujar-3, Munar-2, Granollers-2, Menendez Maceiras-1, Robredo-1, Martinez-1, Gutierrez Ferrol-1, Ferrer-1, Carballes Baena-1

France

13-15

Humbert-3, Halys-2, Robert-1, Barrere-1, Chardy-1, Lestienne-1, Couacaud-1, Moutet-1, Monfils-1, Hoang-1

Argentina

11-9

Andreozzi-4, Londero-2, Berlocq-1, Trungelliti-1, Bagnis-1, Delbonis-1, Pella-1

Outside Top 400 Winners (7)
The slipper fit for seven Cinderella stories, with a bevy of players ranked outside the Top 400 tasting success. At No. 598, Pablo Andujar was the lowest-ranked of the group, winning on home soil in Alicante in his first Challenger event in two years (elbow surgery).

Player Tournament ATP Ranking
Pablo Andujar Alicante, ESP No. 598
Enzo Couacaud Cassis, FRA
No. 560
Ulises Blanch Perugia, ITA No. 508
Rudolf Molleker Heilbronn, GER No. 497
James Duckworth Cary, USA No. 418
Gregoire Barrere Lille, FRA No. 406
Jurij Rodionov Almaty, KAZ No. 406

ATP World Tour & ATP Challenger Tour Winners (8)
Eight players lifted trophies on both the ATP World Tour and ATP Challenger Tour this year. Andujar became the first to win Challenger and tour-level crowns in consecutive weeks since David Goffin in 2014.

Player ATP World Tour event ATP Challenger Tour event
Pablo Andujar Marrakech Alicante, ESP; Florence, ITA & Buenos Aires, ARG
Marco Cecchinato Budapest & Umag
Santiago, CHI
Matteo Berrettini Gstaad Bergamo, ITA
Martin Klizan Kitzbuhel Indian Wells, USA
Gael Monfils Doha Kaohsiung, TPE
Bernard Tomic Chengdu Mallorca, ESP
Yoshihito Nishioka Shenzhen Gimcheon, KOR
Roberto Carballes Baena Quito Barcelona, ESP

Match Points Saved In Finals (2)
Aljaz Bedene and Daniel Evans were the only players to save a match point in a Challenger championship. Bedene denied one in the Orleans final, rallying past Antoine Hoang 4-6, 6-1, 7-6(6). Evans also turned aside one in the Vancouver final, overcoming Jason Kubler 4-6, 7-5, 7-6(3).

Player M.P. Saved Tournament
Aljaz Bedene 1 Orleans, FRA
Daniel Evans 1
Vancouver, CAN

Oldest Winners
At 39 years, seven months, Ivo Karlovic became the oldest champion in Challenger history with his victory in Calgary, Canada. Just two weeks prior, Karlovic and David Ferrer created another slice of history with their final match-up in Monterrey, Mexico. At 76 years and one month, it was the oldest combined final ever.

Player Title Age
Ivo Karlovic Calgary, CAN 39 yrs, 7 mos.
Stephane Robert Burnie, AUS
37 yrs, 8 mos.
Paolo Lorenzi Cordenons, ITA 36 yrs, 8 mos.
Paolo Lorenzi Sopot, POL 36 yrs, 7 mos.
David Ferrer Monterrey, MEX 36 yrs, 6 mos.
Tommy Robredo Lisbon, POR 36 yrs

Doubles Title Leaders
Five players claimed a tour-leading seven doubles titles this year, but it was Luke Bambridge who enjoyed the biggest rise in the ATP Doubles Rankings. The Brit soared from No. 142 to a year-end position of No. 56, behind five ATP Challenger Tour titles and his first ATP World Tour crowns.

In addition to tour-level crowns in Eastbourne and Stockholm with Jonny O'Mara, Bambridge won on all three surfaces with different partners on the Challenger circuit. He prevailed on the clay of Savannah (w/Santillan), grass of Surbiton (w/O'Mara), outdoor hard courts of Vancouver and Chicago (w/N Skupski) and indoor hard courts of Orleans (w/O'Mara). 

Fast Facts

  • A total of 34 different players enjoyed their maiden moments of glory this year. Molleker was the youngest of the group at the age of 17, while 29-year-old Spaniard Sergio Gutierrez-Ferrol was the oldest.
  • Qualifiers won 14 titles, with Kimmer Coppejans defeating Alex Molcan in an all-qualifier final in Sevilla, Spain.
  • For the first time in Challenger history, multiple lucky losers won titles in a single season. Both are #NextGenATP Americans - Ulises Blanch (Perugia, Italy) and Tommy Paul (Charlottesville, USA).
  • Two players successfully defended titles: Felix Auger-Aliassime (Lyon, France) and Elias Ymer (Mouilleron-le-Captif, France).
  • Six unseeded wild cards won titles: Mats Moraing, Pablo Andujar, Gianluigi Quinzi, Rudolf Molleker, Thiemo de Bakker and Dragos Dima.
  • Among first-time winners, Blanch won the title in Perugia, Italy in his Challenger debut, while Molleker won in Heilbronn, Germany having never previously won a main draw match.
  • Dutch brothers Scott Griekspoor and Tallon Griekspoor both won their maiden titles, in Blois, France and Tampere, Finland, respectively. They are just the fourth pair of brothers to triumph in the same season since 2000.
  • Longest final: The longest final registered at three hours and 24 minutes, with Alessandro Giannessi beating Carlos Berlocq 6-7(6), 6-4, 6-4 in Banja Luka, Bosnia & Herzegovina. It is just seven minutes shy of the record (3:31 in Winnetka 2015).
  • Shortest completed final: At 47 minutes, Mats Moraing downed Kenny De Schepper 6-2, 6-1 in Koblenz, Germany, in the shortest final of the year.
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