Millman Marches To Hua Hin Title In Final Week Of Season
A LOOK BACK
EA Hua Hin Open Challenger (Hua Hin, Thailand): One of the biggest storylines of the year has been the success of players returning from injury. Filip Krajinovic, Cedrik-Marcel Stebe, Matthew Ebden and Nicolas Jarry all stole the headlines with impressive ATP Challenger Tour campaigns. Add John Millman to that list. The Aussie claimed his first Challenger crown in two years, and ninth of his career, with a ruthless run to the title in Hua Hin. Millman did not drop a set all week, including a 6-2, 6-2 victory in the final over countryman Andrew Whittington.
Former World No. 60 Millman is on the rise after returning to the circuit in May, following groin surgery at the start of the season. The Tecnifibre player would fall out of the Top 200 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, but is surging in his comeback. He finishes the 2017 season at No. 128, up 37 spots with the title on Thai soil. The 28-year-old Aussie was also a finalist in Lexington, U.S.A. and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, in addition to a run to the third round at the US Open in early September.
Bengaluru Open (Bangalore, India): It was a fight to the finish for 20-year-old Sumit Nagal, who edged British teen Jay Clarke 6-3, 3-6, 6-2 for his maiden ATP Challenger Tour title in Bengaluru. India's #NextGenATP star is well on his way to breaking into the Top 200 after soaring 96 spots to a career-high No. 225 in the Emirates ATP Rankings. The sky's the limit for Nagal, who has no points to defend until May. His victory marks the second in as many weeks for the surging Indian contingent, following Yuki Bhambri's title in nearby Pune.
Rio Tennis Classic (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil): Fourth seed Carlos Berlocq heads into the offseason on a high, after clinching his first title of the season. Berlocq lifted the trophy in Rio de Janeiro after Spain's Jaume Munar retired down 6-3, 2-6, 3-0 in Sunday's final. It was Berlocq's 18th crown on the Challenger circuit, drawing level with Go Soeda for fourth on the all-time list. Only Yen-Hsun Lu (29), Dudi Sela (22) and Paolo Lorenzi (19) have more triumphs.
Andria Castel del Monte Challenger (Andria, Italy): The indoor hard court event in Andria has been a staple of the final week of the season since 2013. Uladzimir Ignatik claimed its fifth edition on Sunday, defeating Belgian qualifier Christopher Heyman in what was the final match of the season on the ATP Challenger Tour. Ignatik took a gripping encounter in a deciding tie-break, prevailing 6-7(3), 6-4, 7-6(3) in two hours and eight minutes. With his second title of the season, Ignatik extended Belarus' perfect record in finals this year to 6-0. Egor Gerasimov (3-0) and Ilya Ivashka (1-0) also prevailed in 2017.
Meanwhile, Heyman was the surprise story of the week in reaching the final in his first career Challenger main draw. The qualifier had upset home hope Andrea Arnaboldi, second seed and 2014 champion Ricardas Berankis, eighth seed Zdenek Kolar and third seed Mirza Basic, before nearly toppling Ignatik.
Uladzimir Ignatik is the champion in Andria, taking his second #ATPChallenger title of the season, 67(3) 64 76(3) over Heyman.— ATP Challenger Tour (@ATPChallenger) November 26, 2017
🇧🇾 finishes 2017 with a perfect 6-0 mark in finals pic.twitter.com/ya6e619YBl
A LOOK AHEAD
We'll see you in 2018! The ATP Challenger Tour is on a one-month hiatus, before returning with a trio of events beginning 1 January - Noumea, New Caledonia; Playford, Australia; Bangkok, Thailand.