Americans Svajda, Cressy Capture Challenger Titles

Navone wins third Challenger title of 2023
September 18, 2023
Zachary Svajda wins the Challenger 75 event in Cary, North Carolina.
Alexis Galloway
Zachary Svajda wins the Challenger 75 event in Cary, North Carolina. By ATP Staff

Americans Zachary Svajda and Maxime Cressy returned to the winners’ circle Sunday on the ATP Challenger Tour.

Svajda earned his second Challenger title and first of this season at the Atlantic Tire Championships in Cary, North Carolina, where he ousted top seed Rinky Hijikata 7-6(3), 4-6, 6-1 in the final. Following his triumph, the 20-year-old soared 39 spots to a career-high No. 168 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings.

“It feels really good,” Svajda said after winning in Cary. “I played some good tennis this week. I thought I served well the whole tournament and also my movement, that’s probably my biggest strength. In all of my matches I try to run down every single ball and try not to let anybody hit a winner past me.”

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Cressy did not drop a set all week, including 6-0 in tie-breaks, to lift the trophy at the Open Blot Rennes. Playing in his first ATP Challenger Tour event since March 2022, the 26-year-old won the title after home hope Benjamin Bonzi was forced to retire with the American leading 6-3, 2-0.

“I was very nervous at the start. There was a big crowd, most of whom were for Benjamin. It really was an incredible atmosphere,” Cressy said. “I managed it really well despite a few double faults at the start. I kept my game tight, that was the key to overturning that first set.”

A one-time tour-level titlist, Cressy’s triumph in France marks his first trophy at any level since he won the ATP 250 event in Newport last year.

<a href=''>Maxime Cressy</a> wins the Challenger 100 event in Rennes, France.
Maxime Cressy wins the Challenger 100 event in Rennes, France. Credit: Nicolas Averty
In other ATP Challenger Tour action, Mariano Navone collected his third title at that level at the Challenger Bolivia. The 22-year-old Argentine rallied past countryman Francisco Comesana 4-6, 7-5, 6-1 in the final.

Despite falling short in his first three Challenger finals, Navone has rebounded by winning titles in Santa Cruz, Santa Fe and Poznan to reach a career-high World No. 155. Navone is one of seven players to win three or more Challenger titles this year.

<a href=''>Mariano Navone</a> wins the Challenger 75 event in Santa Cruz, Bolivia.
Mariano Navone in action during Sunday's final in Bolivia. Credit: Challenger Bolivia
Argentine Federico Coria also completed a title run Sunday at the Invest in Szczecin Open in Poland. The fifth seed downed Czech Vit Kopriva 6-1, 7-6(4) to earn his sixth ATP Challenger Tour crown and second of this season.

“I played very well today. I had two match points at 5-2, but that’s tennis. He played very well after the two match points,” Coria said. “I am very happy to win. “A year ago I lost in Szczecin in the first round and I told myself that I would not come here again. Ultimately, I decided to come back here and had good results.”

<a href=''>Federico Coria</a> celebrates winning the Challenger 125 event in Szczecin, Poland.
Federico Coria celebrates winning the Challenger 125 event in Szczecin, Poland. Credit:Invest in Szczecin Open
Frenchman Terence Atmane earned his second ATP Challenger Tour title by winning the Guangzhou Nansha International Challenger in China. The 21-year-old saved three championship points to defeat Australian Marc Polmans 4-6, 7-6(7), 6-4 after two hours, 59 minutes.

Atmane, who won the Zhangjiagang Challenger in August, upset three of the top four seeds en route to the title this past week and climbed to a career-high No. 149 on Monday.

Players from France have combined for a season-leading 22 Challenger titles, one shy of tying the all-time record, which Argentina set last year.

<a href=''>Terence Atmane</a> wins the Challenger 75 event in Guangzhou, China.
Terence Atmane wins the Challenger 75 event in Guangzhou, China. Credit: Guangzhou Nansha International Challenger

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