© James Duckworth

James Duckworth (R) won his first ATP Challenger Tour title of the year in Bangkok.

Elias Continues Top 100 Climb In Mestre; Duckworth Wins Bangkok

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

Venice Challenge Save Cup (Mestre, Italy): No. 4 seed Gastao Elias of Portugal continued his outstanding form in 2016 by prevailing over No. 3 seed Horacio Zeballos of Argentina, 7-6(0), 6-2 in Sunday's Mestre final. This was the fourth ATP Challenger Tour final this year between Top 100 players, compared to six for the entire 2015 season. Elias also prevailed in Italy last month at the $50,000 event in Turin, which allowed him to crack the Top 100 of the Emirates ATP Rankings for the first time in his career. He has now won 11 of his last 12 ATP Challenger Tour matches.

Multiple Title Winners In 2016

Player

Titles
Tournaments
Facundo Bagnis
3
Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, Santiago
Gerald Melzer
3
Mendoza, Bucaramanga, Morelos
Mikhail Youzhny
3
Bangkok I, Bangkok II, Manila
Nikoloz Basilashvili
2
Guangzhou, Heilbronn
Ricardas Berankis
2
Gwangju, Nanjing
Kyle Edmund
2
Dallas, Rome
Gastao Elias
2
Turin, Mestre
Daniel Evans
2
Drummondville, Taipei City
Malek Jaziri
2
Guadalajara, Le Gosier
Jordan Thompson
2
Cherbourg, Anning

Zeballos broke through this week by reaching his first ATP Challenger Tour final of the year, snapping a five match losing streak in semi-finals that dates back to last October.

KPN Renewables Bangkok Open (Bangkok, Thailand): No. 8 seed James Duckworth picked up his first ATP Challenger Tour title of the year by defeating qualifier Sam Barry of Ireland, 7-6(5), 6-4. Playing in his first Challenger since January due to an elbow injury, Duckworth showed resilience throughout the week by rallying from a set down in three of his matches to get to the final. This is the third ATP Challenger Tour title of the 24-year-old’s career, with his last coming in November 2014 in Charlottesville, Virginia. Aussies are also now 4-0 this year in Challenger finals, with Jordan Thompson and Blake Mott also lifting trophies. 

Despite the loss, the week was a positive for Barry in reaching his first ATP Challenger Tour final. The 24-year-old had only won two main draw matches at the Challenger level prior to his run in Bangkok.

A LOOK AHEAD

The lone tournament on the calendar this week is the $50,000 event in Vicenza, Italy. Elias will look for his third ATP Challenger Tour title of the year as the No. 1 seed, while Daniel Brands of Germany is the No. 2 seed. Other notable names in the draw include #NextGen star Andrey Rublev of Russia, rising American teenager Stefan Kozlov and former Top 50 player Andrey Golubev, a winner earlier this year in Jonkoping, Sweden.

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ATP CHALLENGER TOUR ON TWITTER: New in 2016, the ATP Challenger Tour has launched a dedicated Twitter account for the latest news and information about players and events. Follow @ATPChallengerTour at twitter.com/ATPChallengerTour.