© Abierto GNP Seguros

David Ferrer claims the title at the ATP Challenger Tour event in Monterrey.

Ferrer Caps 2018 Campaign With Monterrey Crown

Revisit the week that was on the ATP Challenger Tour as we applaud the achievements of those on the rise and look ahead to who’s in action in the week to come

A LOOK BACK
Abierto GNP Seguros (Monterrey, Mexico): Next year, David Ferrer will write the final chapter of his storied career, as the former World No. 3 hangs up his racquet after 18 illustrious seasons. On Sunday, the Spaniard made a statement in his last tournament of 2018, lifting the trophy at the ATP Challenger Tour event in Monterrey.

In what was the oldest final in Challenger history, the 36-year-old Ferrer ousted 39-year-old Ivo Karlovic 6-3, 6-4, not facing a break point throughout the 69 minute encounter. It was the sixth meeting between the two veterans (Ferrer leads 5-1) and first outside of the ATP World Tour.

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Ferrer, who improved to 6-0 in finals on the Challenger circuit, has now lifted a combined 33 trophies between the ATP World Tour and ATP Challenger Tour. He was a force all week long at the Club Sonoma, dropping just one set and earning the appreciation of the Monterrey faithful with his tenacity and relentless aggression.

Karlovic, meanwhile, is hoping to give one last push to return to the Top 100 of the ATP Rankings. He rises to No. 118 after becoming the oldest player to reach a Challenger final at 39 years, 7 months. He smashed the record by nearly a year, with Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo previously reaching the 2016 Qingdao final at the age of 38 years, 8 months.

Campeonato Internacional de Tenis (Campinas, Brazil): Chile's Christian Garin streaked to his second ATP Challenger Tour title in convincing fashion on Sunday. The 22-year-old was nearly flawless in reeling off 10 sets in a row to lift the trophy in front of a sold-out crowd in Campinas.

The second-highest ranked Chilean, Garin rises to a career-high No. 121 in the ATP Rankings. His return to the winners' circle was worth the wait, as he earned his first victory in nearly two years (Lima 2016).

Brazil's lone tournament on the circuit was a party from start to finish, as fans flooded the Sociedade Hipica de Campinas all week to catch the future of men's tennis. Top seed Pablo Cuevas was stunned by 20-year-old Ulises Blanch in the first round and US Open junior champ Thiago Seyboth Wild continued his transition to the pros, as the Brazilian teen reached his first Challenger quarter-final.

Garin

Stockton Challenger (Stockton, California, USA): Lloyd Harris dominated the field in Stockton to claim his second ATP Challenger Tour title, defeating fellow #NextGenATP Marc Polmans 6-2, 6-2 on Sunday. Two months ago, he became the first South African to lift a trophy in five years. Now, the 21-year-old proved that he's not done celebrating crowns. 

Harris dropped just one set all week, earning impressive wins over an in-form Christopher Eubanks, top seed Jordan Thompson and eighth seed Polmans. He joins as exclusive club in becoming just the third #NextGenATP with multiple titles this year, in addition to Jaume Munar and Michael Mmoh.

And most importantly, Harris is up to a career-high No. 113 in the ATP Rankings and rises four spots to 10th in the ATP Race to Milan. Having resided in 20th place prior to his triumph in Lexington, he is now firmly in contention to qualify for the Next Gen ATP Finals.

Firenze Tennis Cup (Florence, Italy): Pablo Andujar has fast become a strong candidate for Comeback Player of the Year in the ATP World Tour Awards presented by Moët & Chandon. Eight months ago, the 32-year-old was sitting outside the Top 1800 as he began his comeback from multiple elbow surgeries.

But now, Andujar is back and looking stronger than ever. On Sunday, the former World No. 32 notched his second ATP Challenger Tour title of the year, beating Marco Trungelliti 7-5, 6-3 at the inaugural tournament in Florence, Italy. In fact, he earned two wins in one day to lift the trophy after rain washed out Saturday's semi-finals. He rises to the precipice of a Top 100 return, soaring to No. 103 in the ATP Rankings. Considering where the Spaniard was at the start of the year, it is truly remarkable what he is achieving.

Almaty II Challenger (Almaty, Kazakhstan): Three players became multiple winners on the ATP Challenger Tour this week, as Denis Istomin joined Harris and Andujar with his second title of 2018. The Uzbek rallied past Nikola Milojevic 6-7(4), 7-6(5), 6-2 in a marathon two hours and 41 minutes to prevail in Almaty.

Istomin added to his victory at the $150,000 event in Chicago, earning consecutive comeback wins to triumph. The 32-year-old returns to the Top 100, rising 16 spots to No. 87 in the ATP Rankings.

Istomin

A LOOK AHEAD
There are five tournaments on three continents coming up, with the $125,000 Milex Open in Santo Domingo highlighting the slate. Defending champion Victor Estrella Burgos will face second seed Federico Delbonis in a blockbuster opening round encounter.

Meanwhile, in Fairfield, the Northern California swing concludes with Jordan Thompson, Lloyd Harris, Noah Rubin and Reilly Opelka leading the charge. Monterrey finalist Ivo Karlovic is seeded seventh.

In Ortisei, Italy, fourth seed Lorenzo Sonego is the defending champ, while in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, two-time winner Denis Istomin seeks to prevail once again on home soil. And in Barcelona, the inaugural Sanchez-Casal Mapfre Cup features Roberto Carballes Baena, Pablo Andujar, Tommy Robredo and #NextGenATP stars Nicola Kuhn and Pedro Martinez as home hopes looking to take home the title.

ATP Challenger Tour