Barrere Battles To Maiden Challenger Crown In Lille
A LOOK BACK
Play In Challenger Lille (Lille, France): Eight wins in nine days. It was a stunning run for France's Gregoire Barrere in Lille, battling to his maiden ATP Challenger Tour title as a qualifier. Barrere prevailed on home soil with a convincing 6-1, 6-4 victory over Tobias Kamke on Sunday.
After cruising through qualifying with the loss of one set, the 24-year-old Tecnifibre player was made to work in the main draw, including a four-match point saving performance against countryman Stephane Robert in the second round. He overcame a 2/6 deficit in the deciding tie-break, reeling off six straight points to advance. Subsequent wins over Guillermo Olaso and an in-form Yannick Maden would put him in the final, where he needed 72 minutes to defeat Kamke.
Moreover, what makes Barrere's triumph so remarkable is that it came three years after he reached his first final in Quimper, France. In that time, Barrere had only won a total of 16 Challenger matches, primarily fighting for his professional dreams on the Futures circuit.
Qualifier Winners In 2018
|Gregoire Barrere (FRA)||Lille, France||No. 406|
|Jason Kubler (AUS)||Playford, Australia||No. 341|
|Alex Bolt (AUS)
||Zhuhai, China||No. 244|
Now, it looks like the Frenchman's days on the ATP Challenger Tour will get a significant boost. Having entered the week at No. 406 in the ATP Rankings, he is projected to rise more than 100 spots next Monday. Barrere is the lowest-ranked player to win a title this year.
Sealed with an ace! 🇫🇷 @GregBarrere captures his maiden #ATPChallenger title on home soil in Lille @PlayinLille.— ATP Challenger Tour (@ATPChallenger) March 25, 2018
What a run for the qualifier, winning eight matches in nine days to lift the 🏆 pic.twitter.com/CtPN46a8SL
PBT Cup Qujing 2018 (Qujing, China): Top seed Malek Jaziri dropped one set en route to claiming his eighth Challenger crown in Qujing, China. The Tunisian defeated Blaz Rola 7-6(5), 6-1 for the title on Sunday, continuing a strong run of form that kicked off last month with a semi-final finish at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.
Jaziri extended his win streak in Challenger finals to six straight, lifting a trophy in four consecutive years. Having fallen outside the Top 100 in February, the 34-year-old is on the rise once again.
A LOOK AHEAD
Four tournaments are on the calendar this week, with the Open de Guadeloupe returning after a one-year hiatus, San Luis Potosi, Mexico celebrating its 32nd edition and the Casino Admiral Trophy in Marbella, Spain making its debut. The Open Harmonie Mutuelle in Saint-Brieuc, France is also on the slate.
Egor Gerasimov is back in Saint-Brieuc as the defending champion, with Marcos Baghdatis the top seed. In San Luis Potosi, eighth seed Pedja Krstin is the lone former champion having triumphed in 2016. Paolo Lorenzi leads the pack at the second-longest running tournament on the ATP Challenger Tour - behind only Tampere, Finland.