Kuznetsov Goes Back-To-Back In Italy
A LOOK BACK
Citta di Como (Como, Italy): Andrey Kuznetsov became the fifth player to register a double-digit win streak on the ATP Challenger Tour this year, claiming back-to-back titles on Italian soil on Sunday. The 24-year-old Russian won his seventh title on the circuit, downing Daniel Brands 6-4, 6-3 in 72 minutes in Como. World No. 90 Kuznetsov did not face a break point, improving his win streak to 10 after hoisting the trophy the week prior in Manerbio. Brands, meanwhile, fell to 6-5 in finals, contesting his first title match in three years.
Chang-Sat Bangkok Open (Bangkok, Thailand): Yuichi Sugita came up short in his quest for the Bangkok title in 2012, falling to Dudi Sela in straight sets, but the Japanese would finally get his title. Sugita needed 71 minutes to dispatch Argentina’s Marco Trungelliti 6-4, 6-2, converting on three of seven break opportunities. It was the third seed’s fourth ATP Challenger Tour title. He is the 18th player to win a title without dropping a set this year. Trungelliti was appearing in just his third final, seeking his first crown.
Manic September on the ATP Challenger Tour commences with 26 tournaments over four weeks. Four continents host a total seven events this week. The AON Open Challenger in Genoa, Italy, received co-Challenger of the Year honours in 2014 and looks to continue to set the standard on the circuit. The €106,500 event is led by defending champion Albert Ramos-Vinolas, with other Top 100 talents Robin Haase and Paolo Lorenzi seeded second and third.
Also in Europe, the Copa Sevilla, in Sevilla, Spain, hopes to crown its eighth consecutive home grown champion. Pablo Carreno Busta is the reigning champion and seeded first, while second seed Daniel Gimeno-Traver looks to reclaim the title after completing a three-peat from 2011-13. Two-time champion Pere Riba (2008-09) is unseeded. In Alphen aan den Rijn, Netherlands, three-time titlist Jesse Huta Galung (2007, ‘10, ‘14) looks to retain his crown, while fellow Dutchman Thiemo de Bakker eyes his second (2012). Another home hope, Igor Sijsling, seeded fourth, triumphed in 2011.
Four different Frenchmen have prevailed in the past four years at the Trophee des Alpilles, in Saint-Remy-de-Provence. This year, 2014 runner-up Vincent Millot leads the home charge, with Lukas Lacko the top seed.
In South America, the Claro Open Barranquilla hosts World No. 33 Borna Coric, along with Marcel Granollers and Joao Souza. Coric is the highest-ranked player to enter a Challenger this year and highest since Philipp Kohlschreiber in Orleans 2014.
In Asia, the Road to the Shanghai Rolex Masters features Tatsuma Ito as its top seed and last week’s Bangkok champion Sugita seeded eighth. Sugita won in Shanghai in 2013.
In Africa, the circuit shifts to Meknes, Morocco, where 33-year-old Daniel Munoz-de la Nava enters as a Top 100 player for the first time. The co-wins leader on the Challenger Tour this year is seeded first, while Facundo Arguello is second. 2009 champion Rui Machado is unseeded.