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Challenger Spotlight: Montanes Celebrates Eighth Title

Kovalik© Stephan FringsJozef Kovalik won his maiden ATP Challenger Tour title in Meerbusch.

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

Maserati Challenger by Landsknecht (Meerbusch, Germany): World No. 340 Jozef Kovalik won his maiden ATP Challenger Tour title in Meerbusch, needing just 59 minutes to dispatch second-seed Andrey Kuznetsov 6-1, 6-4. Kovalik had reached just one semi-final in 23 Challenger events entering the tournament. The 21 year old became the second unseeded wild card to triumph in as many months, after Alexander Zverev won in Braunschweig. He joins Zverev, Alex Bolt (An Ning) and Gonzalo Lama (Cali) as the only players ranked outside the Top 300 to win titles this year.

Internazionali di Tennis del Friuli Venezia Giulia (Cordenons, Italy): Fifth-seed Albert Montanes topped Potito Starace 6-2, 6-4 to claim his eighth ATP Challenger Tour trophy in Cordenons. The pair were facing off for the 10th time in their FedEx ATP Head2Head, having met on four tour-level occasions (3-1 Montanes) and five on the Challenger circuit (3-2 Montanes). The 33 year old is the third Spaniard to triumph in Cordenons in four years, following victories by Daniel Munoz-de la Nava in 2011 and Pablo Carreno Busta last year.

Earlier in the week, Italians Filippo Volandri and Paolo Lorenzi both passed countryman Alessio di Mauro for third on the all-time ATP Challenger Tour match wins list, with 283 victories.

All-Time ATP Challenger Tour Match Wins Leaders 

Player Match Wins
Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo (ESP)
357
Yen-hsun Lu (TPE)
295
Filippo Volandri (ITA)
283
Paolo Lorenzi (ITA)
283
Alessio di Mauro (ITA)
282

What the Players are Saying

Kovalik: "I want to say thank you to the tournament director Marc Raffel and Detlef Irmler to give me a wild card for this tournament. It was a tough match for me today. I had a strong opponent. It seems easy, but it wasn’t. Next year I want to come back to Meerbusch."

Kuznetsov: "I am happy about this week. I played good tennis and it was closer than it seems today. Thanks to all the people and the crowd that came and supported me the whole tournament."

WHAT'S AHEAD

The ATP Challenger Tour is on a one-week hiatus with the usual suspects heading to New York to compete in US Open qualifying. Two tournaments are on the calendar during the week of August 25, in Bangkok, Thailand, and Como, Italy.

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