Quinzi Notches First Challenger Crown On Home Soil
A LOOK BACK
Internazionali d'Abruzzo (Francavilla al Mare, Italy): Welcome to the winners' circle, Gianluigi Quinzi! Five years after ascending to junior No. 1, the Italian celebrated a breakthrough at the pro level, claiming his maiden ATP Challenger Tour title on Sunday. Quinzi defeated Casper Ruud 6-4, 6-1 in just 71 minutes on home soil in Francavilla al Mare to lift the trophy.
The win comes six months after Quinzi earned a coveted spot at the Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan, having won a qualifying competition for the eighth and final berth. The 22-year-old has carried the momentum into 2018, also notching a pair of Futures titles early in the year. He will jump 82 spots to No. 265 in the ATP Rankings on Monday.
Torneo Challenger Leon (Leon, Mexico): From one first-time winner to another. As Christopher Eubanks blasted a service winner on his first championship point, the elated American fell to the court at the Club Campestre de Leon. The celebration was on.
One week after finishing runner-up in his first Challenger final in Guadalajara, Eubanks went one step further in Leon. The former Georgia Tech University star edged John-Patrick Smith 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(4) in two hours and seven minutes for his maiden crown on Sunday. Eubanks, who turns 22 in one week, kicked off his pro career in November and is already inside the Top 200, rising to a career-high No. 184 with the title.
Kunming Open (Anning, China): If two first-time winners aren't enough, India's Prajnesh Gunneswaran is here to join the party. The 28-year-old rallied past Mohamed Safwat 5-7, 6-3, 6-1 for his maiden ATP Challenger Tour crown on the clay of Anning. Gunneswaran, who is also pursuing a degree in business in Germany, was all business in beating Safwat, converting seven of 13 break points for the title.
Safwat, meanwhile, was bidding to become the first Egyptian to win a Challenger title since Tamer El Sawy in 1996.
Tallahassee Tennis Challenger (Tallahassee, Florida, USA): In one of the more thrilling finals on the ATP Challenger Tour, Noah Rubin survived a stern test from #NextGenATP Aussie Marc Polmans on Saturday afternoon in Tallahassee. Rubin prevailed 6-2, 3-6, 6-4 to take the fourth title of his young career and first on clay.
The New York native joins Marcelo Arevalo and Quentin Halys as players to win on both clay and hard this year. With the win, he also celebrates a return to the Top 200 of the ATP Rankings. Read more about Noah's victory.
A LOOK AHEAD
The ATP Challenger Tour welcomes five events on three continents this week. In the Korean capital of Seoul, top seed Vasek Pospisil bids for a tour-leading third title of the year. Go Soeda, the 2015 champion, is seeded sixth. Meanwhile, Noah Rubin looks to lift consecutive crowns in Savannah and is joined by #NextGenATP stars Michael Mmoh, Reilly Opelka, Jay Clarke, Akira Santillan and Marc Polmans.
In Ostrava, Czech Republic, Ruben Bemelmans and Sergiy Stakhovsky lead the pack, while a pair of tournaments celebrate their inaugural editions in Glasgow, UK and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Lukas Lacko is the top seed at the Glasgow Trophy, while Christopher Eubanks looks to continue the momentum on Mexican soil in the resort town of Puerto Vallarta.