Ugo Carabelli, Lestienne Add To Argentina, France's Challenger Title Race
Players from Argentina and France continue to battle atop the ATP Challenger Tour leaderboards. Argentines won a record 23 Challenger titles last season, with France just one behind. Both countries now find themselves in another race for history in the final quarter of the season.
Argentine Camilo Ugo Carabelli captured his fourth ATP Challenger Tour title and first of this season on Sunday to earn his country’s 17th trophy at that level in 2023. France leads the way with 23, one shy of breaking the all-time record, after Constant Lestienne scored his second Challenger crown of the season.
The 24-year-old Ugo Carabelli returned to the winners’ circle by winning the Challenger Dove Men+Care Antofagasta, where he rallied past American Tristan Boyer 3-6, 6-1, 7-5 in the final. Boyer, 22, played college tennis for two years at Stanford University before turning pro last season.
"I am very happy to win, I have been working hard to get a result like this and luckily I got it," Ugo Carabelli said in Spanish. "I felt comfortable all week, that was important. I want to thank Horacio [de la Pena] and his team for giving us the chance to have many tournaments in South America. That's very important for us as we are close to home and can travel with more members of our team."
“It means a lot to me because it’s my first title in France, on home soil,” Lestienne said. “Today I managed my feelings well and that helped me stay in the match because Liam played really well. It was [long] rallies, so I was just trying to stay solid and go for when I could. I was also trying to mix the game, high balls, drop shots.”
At World No. 94 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings, Lestienne has won 10 of his past 11 Challenger matches, having also won the Golden Gate Open in California last month.
Constant Lestienne wins the Challenger 125 event in Saint-Tropez. Credit: Saint-Tropez Open
The 31-year-old Lestienne is one of seven French players to claim more than one title at the Challenger level this year, joining Luca Van Assche, Benoit Paire, Ugo Humbert, Hugo Grenier, Hugo Gaston and Terence Atmane.
Following Broady’s run to the final, the 29-year-old has climbed 10 spots to World No. 93, setting him up for a Top 100 debut.
In other ATP Challenger Tour action, Nerman Fatic defended his title at the BCR Sibiu Open. The 28-year-old Bosnian defeated countryman Damir Dzumhur 6-2, 6-4 in a rematch of last year’s final at the event, where Fatic won his maiden Challenger title.
“It's totally crazy for me to win this tournament two years in a row. I can't even tell you how I feel right now,” Fatic said.
“Damir is an exceptional player,” Fatic said. “He is my friend and it is never easy to play against him. We have played the final in Sibiu twice and I hope to play the final together every week in the circuit.”
“It’s the biggest title for me for my whole career, I’m very happy about that,” Pellegrino said. “It was an unbelievable week, very tough matches. It means a lot to me and I hope to continue like this.”
Andrea Pellegrino wins the Challenger 125 event in Bad Waltersdorf, Austria. Credit: GEPA Pictures
The 26-year-old Pellegrino trailed Novak 1-6, 0-4 before mounting a comeback. Another pivotal moment came when Pellegrino won three consecutive points from 4/5 in the second-set tie-break to stay alive.
“At the beginning, he started very well,” Pellegrino said. “He was playing unbelievable but then he made mistakes and I started to believe. Until the end, it was a very big fight. I started to play much better.”
In Bad Waltersdorf doubles action, Germans Constantin Frantzen and Hendrik Jebens won their season-leading fifth Challenger title, defeating Italians Marco Bortolotti and Francesco Passaro 6-1, 6-2 in the final.
American Denis Kudla dropped just one set all week to win the Columbus Challenger and earn his first title at that level since March 2022. The second seed cruised past Canadian Alexis Galarneau 6-2, 6-1 in 62 minutes to lift the trophy.
The 31-year-old Kudla ended his four-match skid across all levels to start the tournament and went the distance to claim his ninth ATP Challenger Tour title.
Denis Kudla wins the Challenger 75 event in Columbus, Ohio. Credit: Top Notch Management