Bagnis Continues Reign As King Of Clay
Argentine wins sixth Challenger of 2016 in Bogota
Most players would be happy with one ATP Challenger Tour title during their season, but Facundo Bagnis has gone above and beyond by lifting his sixth winner’s trophy of 2016 in Bogota, Colombia.
The 26-year-old from Argentina prevailed as the top seed at the $75,000 event by defeating countryman and second seed Horacio Zeballos, 3-6, 6-3, 7-6. All six of his titles this year came on clay in South America. Bagnis has now tied Juan Ignacio Chela (2001) and Younes El Aynaoui (1998) for most Challenger titles won in a single season.
“I’m very happy. It’s impossible to have a better end to the year,” said Bagnis. “Last week, I was in Guayaquil (Ecuador) and feeling very tired from the season. But I think that with an extra effort, I started to feel better during the week. I still can’t believe I won the tournament.”
The Argentine opened his season in January with back-to-back titles in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. Bagnis went on to score another trophy this March in Santiago, Chile, but has truly come alive at the end of the year. He won back-to-back titles again last month in Medellin, Colombia and Campinas, Brazil before his most recent win in Bogota.
Having started the year at No. 140 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, he is projected to move inside the Top 60 on Monday.
“This is the result of a lot of work, a lot of people that made an effort so that I can be a tennis player,” said Bagnis. “We’re always looking towards excellence and always try to keep improving every little detail. I’m starting to enjoy it more. There are very few times that you get to win in a sport like tennis, so you have to enjoy it.”
But now that he’s firmly made his mark in Challengers, Bagnis has his sights set on the biggest stages in men’s professional tennis. He’s already made plans for a rigorous off-season in the hopes of making deep runs in ATP World Tour events.
“I want to keep improving everything physically, mentally and on the court because tennis always demands more of you,” said Bagnis. “Next year is going to be a nice challenge with many ATP [World Tour] tournaments coming. I’m looking forward to it.”