Harris returns to Top 100 after Surbiton Challenger triumph; Nagal hits career-high

Kym, Trotter win maiden Challenger titles
June 11, 2024
Lloyd Harris wins his first grass-court title and sixth ATP Challenger Tour crown in Surbiton.
Tom Dulat/Getty Images
Lloyd Harris wins his first grass-court title and sixth ATP Challenger Tour crown in Surbiton. By ATP Staff

Lloyd Harris returned to the Top 100 of the PIF ATP Rankings Monday for the first time in 21 months following his triumph at the Lexus Surbiton Trophy, the ATP Challenger Tour 125 event that kickstarts the grass-court season.

The South African, who underwent right wrist surgery in June 2022, downed Swiss Leandro Riedi 7-6(8), 7-5 in Sunday's final, during which Harris won 85 per cent of his first-serve points and fended off all six break points he faced, according to Infosys ATP Stats.

The 27-year-old has won 16 of his past 17 Challenger-level matches including title runs in Shenzhen and Gwangju. Harris is one of four players to win a trio of ATP Challenger Tour titles this season. The former World No. 31 is the first South African to claim a grass-court Challenger title since Wesley Moodie in 2003.

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“Super stoked. Honestly, it’s like a sigh of relief in a way,” said Harris, No. 98 in the PIF ATP Rankings. “When I won the first match, I was saying to the team that I’ve never started the grass season by winning the first match. It was a huge sign for me. I feel much more confident and comfortable on the grass.

“I think it’s the biggest Challenger title that I’ve won in my career. The fact that it’s on a new surface shows that my game is progressing and evolving as I’m progressing back to where I want to be. It’s still one small stepping stone in a long way to go.”

In other ATP Challenger Tour action, Sumit Nagal claimed his sixth trophy at that level by winning the NECKARCUP in Heilbronn, Germany, where the Indian overcame Swiss Alexander Ritschard 6-1, 6-7(5), 6-3 in the final. The 26-year-old is now at a career-high No. 77 following his second Challenger title of the season.

“Elated to win the title in Heilbronn this week. It was an important week for me, and I’m proud to have produced my best tennis when it mattered the most,” Nagal wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.

<a href=''>Sumit Nagal</a> wins the ATP Challenger Tour 100 event in Heilbronn, Germany.
Sumit Nagal wins the ATP Challenger Tour 100 event in Heilbronn, Germany. Credit: Philipp Foell

While Swiss players Riedi and Ritschard finished runner-up, their countryman Jerome Kym went one step further to claim his maiden ATP Challenger Tour crown. The 21-year-old advanced through qualifying en route to winning the Unicredit Czech Open in Prostejov, ending Chun-Hsin Tseng’s nine-match winning streak in the final with 6-2, 3-6, 6-2 victory. Kym is up to No. 281 in the PIF ATP Rankings, marking his Top 300 debut.

<a href=''>Jerome Kym</a> in action at the Prostejov Challenger.
Jerome Kym in action at the Prostejov Challenger. Credit: Unicredit Czech Open
Damir Dzumhur collected his third ATP Challenger Tour trophy of the season and 11th overall with a title run at the Zagreb Open. The 32-year-old, who hails from Bosnia and Herzegovina, needed a deciding set in three of his five matches to triumph in Croatia, but cruised past wild card Luka Mikrut 7-5, 6-0 in the final.

At No. 111 in the PIF ATP Rankings, Dzumhur is inching closer towards returning to the Top 100 for the first time since February 2020.

Japan’s James Trotter dropped just one set all week at the Tyler Tennis Championships, where he defeated American Brandon Holt 6-2, 7-6(3) in the championship match. The former Ohio State University standout, who partnered Hans Hach Verdugo to also win the doubles title in Texas, saved four match points in the singles semi-final against #NextGenATP Coleman Wong.

<a href=''>James Trotter</a> at the <a href=''>Tyler Tennis Championships</a>, where he won his first ATP Challenger Tour title.
James Trotter at the Tyler Tennis Championships, where he won his first ATP Challenger Tour title. Credit: Tyler Tennis Championships
Andrea Collarini won the all-Argentine final on home soil, downing Facundo Mena 6-2, 6-3 to triumph at the AAT Challenger Santander Edicion Santa Fe. The 32-year-old lefty is a four-time ATP Challenger champion, with half of his title runs coming in 2024.

Did You Know?
The six ATP Challenger Tour events held during the first week of June marks the only week on the calendar with tournaments at that level on all three surfaces.

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