ATP CHALLENGER TOUR FINALS
ATP Challenger Tour Finals Line-up Revealed
Sao Paulo, Brazil
by Press Release|
The seven players to qualify for the ATP Challenger Tour Finals, plus the one wild card entrant, were announced on Wednesday. The inaugural eight-player event, which offers $220,000 in prize money, will take place at the Ibirapuera Gymnasium in São Paulo from 16-20 November.
Rui Machado (POR), Martin Klizan (SVK), Andreas Beck (GER), Matthias Bachinger (GER), Dudi Sela (ISR), Bobby Reynolds (USA) and Cedrik-Marcel Stebe (GER) will join Brazilian No. 1 Thomaz Bellucci, who will participate in the event as a wild card.
The 27-year old Machado of Portugal is currently World No. 80 and this week is bidding for his fifth ATP Challenger Tour title of the season in São José do Rio Preto. The No. 1 player in the 2011 ATP Year-To-Date Challenger Rankings has won trophies in Marrakech, Rijeka, Poznan and Szczecin. He was also a semi-finalist in Trani and Madrid.
A title in Genova, final showings in Rome and San Marino, and semi-final appearances in Manerbio, Cordeons, Zagreb and Rabat gave the second spot to the 22-year-old Klizan. The Slovak is currently No. 88 in the South African Airways ATP Rankings, having broken the Top 100 for the first time this year.
Germany's Beck is currently World No. 112 in the South African Airways ATP Rankings, but was as high as No. 33 in 2009. The 25 year old qualified for this first-time tournament with runner-up appearances at Kazan, Bath, Rome, Oberstaufen and Como. He also reached the semi-finals in Monza, Naples and Orleans.
Another of the three German players to qualify for the ATP Challenger Tour Finals is World No. 90 Bachinger. This season the 24 year old won the Athens title, was runner up at Pingguo, Nottingham and Granby, and reached the semi-finals at Courmayuer and Guangzhou.
Former World No. 29 Sela of Israel is playing on the ATP Challenger Tour to attempt to lift his ranking, having dropped to No. 97 in the South African Airways ATP Rankings. At the US Open this year the 26 year old defeated Bellucci in five sets in the first round before falling to Roger Federer. On the ATP Challenger Tour he won titles in Fergana and Nottingham and was runner up in Busan.
World No. 122 Reynolds will also participate in the ATP Challenger Tour finals. Two titles in Tulsa and Leon, runner-up showings in Rimouski and Winetka, plus semi-final efforts at Tallahassee and Vancouver earned the 29-year-old American a place in the tournament.
Completing the line-up of the seven qualified players is Germany’s Stebe, who is on the verge of the Top 100. This season, the 21 year old has reached three finals, winning the titles at Bangkok and Shanghai and finishing runner up in Kyoto, and was also semi-finalist in Guangzhou, Pingguo, Oberstaufen and Ningbo. Stebe is one of the upcoming stars on the ATP World Tour and will attempt to crack the Top 100 for the first time with a strong showing in São Paulo.