Berankis Makes Top 100 Return With St. Brieuc Crown
A LOOK BACK
Open Harmonie Mutuelle (St. Brieuc, France): For more than a year, former World No. 50 Ricardas Berankis had plotted his return to the Top 100 of the ATP Rankings. After undergoing hip surgery in late 2016, the Lithuanian had fallen as low as No. 243.
Seventeen months later, Berankis is back, soaring to No. 84 after clinching the title at the ATP Challenger Tour event in St. Brieuc. He overcame home hope Constant Lestienne 6-2, 5-7, 6-4 in a tense final. Seeded second, he had not dropped a set entering Sunday's championship. The 27-year-old claimed his ninth Challenger crown in total, marking the fifth straight year in which he has lifted a trophy.
San Luis Open (San Luis Potosi, Mexico): For more than three decades, the $50,000 event in San Luis Potosi has celebrated ATP Challenger Tour excellence. And on Sunday, the second-longest running tournament crowned its 32nd champion as El Salvador's Marcelo Arevalo lifted the trophy.
Arevalo capped an impressive week that included a signature victory over fifth seed Victor Estrella Burgos in the first round, a comeback win over Daniel Elahi Galan in the semi-finals and a 6-3, 6-7(3), 6-4 battle against first-time finalist Roberto Cid Subervi for the title. Arevalo, who became the first from his country to capture a Challenger crown at Bogota 2017, climbs 47 spots to a career-high No. 175 in the ATP Rankings. Having dropped nine of 10 matches entering the week, the victory couldn't have come at a better time for the Salvadorian.
Casino Admiral Trophy (Marbella, Spain): With local teens and 2017 junior Grand Slam champions Alejandro Davidovich Fokina and Alexei Popyrin receiving main draw wild cards, the inaugural tournament in Marbella had a distinct #NextGenATP flavour. Both advanced to the second round, but in the end it was Italy's Stefano Travaglia who lifted the trophy. The 26-year-old defeated Guido Andreozzi 6-3, 6-3 on Saturday for his second Challenger title.
Travaglia is closing in on a Top 100 debut, rising 14 spots to a career-high No. 109 in the ATP Rankings. He is one of our 10 players to watch on the ATP Challenger Tour in 2018, after surging onto the scene at last year's US Open. Learn more about the Italian's incredible tragedy-to-triumph story.
Open Region Guadeloupe (Le Gosier, Guadeloupe): After a one-year hiatus, the crown jewel of Guadeloupe tennis returned to the ATP Challenger Tour. Third seed Dusan Lajovic was the last man standing, dropping just one set en route to his sixth Challenger title. He downed Denis Kudla 6-4, 6-0 in Sunday's final.
One year after Lajovic's native Serbia notched a tour-leading 12 titles, the nation staked claim to its first in 2018. The 27-year-old is hoping that the title will provide a change of fortune after posting a 3-12 record since mid-October.
Victory for @Dutzee in Le Gosier! Dusan Lajovic claims his sixth #ATPChallenger 🏆 with a 64 60 win over Denis Kudla.— ATP Challenger Tour (@ATPChallenger) April 1, 2018
One year after winning a tour-leading 12 titles, 🇷🇸 has its first of 2018. pic.twitter.com/JNPyPlXtvW
A LOOK AHEAD
The Spanish swing continues this week, with Juan Carlos Ferrero's Equelite Sport Academy in Alicante hosting a €43,000 event. Travaglia faces Andreozzi in a first-round rematch of the Marbella final. The tournament also features in-form #NextGenATP stars Alex de Minaur and Felix Auger-Aliassime.