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Challenger Spotlight: Ramirez Hidalgo Makes History in San Benedetto

Goffin© Hans Willink/Sport 1 OpenDavid Goffin won his fourth ATP Challenger Tour title on Sunday.

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

San Benedetto Tennis Cup (San Benedetto del Tronto, Italy): Damir Dzumhur became the sixth three-time champion on the ATP Challenger Tour in 2014, defeating top seed Andreas Haider-Maurer 6-3, 6-3 in front of over 1,200 spectators in the San Benedetto final. It was Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo who stole the headlines, however, after the 36-year-old Spaniard became the first player to win 350 matches on the Challenger circuit with a first round victory over third-seed Filippo Volandri. The Alicante native won his first match 14 years ago in Manerbio, Italy.

All-Time Challenger Match Wins Leaders

Player Wins
Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo (ESP)
351
Yen-hsun Lu (TPE)
290
Alessio di Mauro (ITA)
282
Paolo Lorenzi (ITA)
280
Filippo Volandri (ITA)
279
Michael Russell (USA)
271

Tilia Slovenia Open (Portoroz, Slovenia): Top seed Blaz Kavcic was offered little resistance en route to his third Challenger crown of the year and 12th of his career, prevailing on home soil in Portoroz. Kavcic dropped just 17 games in advancing to the final, before battling past a red hot Gilles Muller 7-5, 6-7(4), 6-1. The 27 year old improved to an impressive 22-4 in 2014, becoming the second straight Slovenian champion at the event (Zemlja). Muller, meanwhile, is the first player to win 40 matches on the circuit this year after a semi-final victory over British young gun Kyle Edmund.

Sport 1 Open (Scheveningen, The Netherlands): The 22nd edition of the Sport 1 Open went to 23-year-old David Goffin, after the fifth seed upended Andreas Beck 6-3, 6-2 in Sunday's final. Goffin, who improves to 4-1 in ATP Challenger Tour title matches, is the third Belgian to triumph in Scheveningen in the past six years. Kristof Vliegen won in 2009 (d. Montanes) and Steve Darcis followed suit in 2011 (d. Ilhan). Goffin ascends to his highest position in the Emirates ATP Rankings in 10 months, moving up to World No. 85.

Watch Goffin Match Point (video courtesy of Sport 1 Open)

What the Players are Saying
Goffin: "Maybe it seemed easy to watch but it wasn't. In the beginning I was very nervous. It was the final. But I found my rythm really quick and could keep that level through the whole match. It was a perfect ending of a good week of tennis for me. Besides I am definitely in the US Open (main draw) now."

Beck: "Of course I am disappointed, but I had no chance. I tried everything but David had all the answers. Nevertheless I can look back on a solid tournament. This gives me the boost to continue this way."

Tweet of the Week

WHAT'S AHEAD
The American summer hard court season moves to Binghamton, where Bradley Klahn is the top seed and is joined by four-time ATP World Tour titlist Sergiy Stakhovsky, along with Australian young gun Thanasi Kokkinakis. Former champions of the event include Top 10 talents Andy Murray (2005), Thomas Johansson (2007) and Kei Nishikori (2010).
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The two-week Canadian hard court swing commences in Granby. World No. 83 and 2013 runner-up Lukas Lacko leads the field. Malek Jaziri is seeded second.
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Defending champion Yen-hsun Lu seeks his 21st ATP Challenger Tour crown in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. Go Soeda, champion in Busan and Nanchang this year, eyes an Asian trifecta.
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At the Poznan Open, 2013 finalist and fifth seed Damir Dzumhur looks to add a fourth title to his haul this year. The 11th edition of the tournament also features defending champion Andreas Haider-Maurer, last week's Scheveningen titlist David Goffin and 2011 champion Rui Machado.
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Gilles Muller and his ATP Challenger Tour-leading 40 match wins in 2014 enters the Guzzini Challenger as the top seed. Ricardas Berankis is seeded second.
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Watch free live streaming from the ATP Challenger Tour this week...

Binghamton, United States, Centre Court

Granby, Canada, Centre Court

Poznan, Czech Republic, Centre Court

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