Thompson Makes Top 100 Return With Chennai Crown
A LOOK BACK
Chennai Open (Chennai, India): After 22 years on the ATP World Tour, the Indian city of Chennai began a new chapter of professional tennis on the ATP Challenger Tour. Top seed Jordan Thompson claimed the title at the inaugural Chennai Open, defeating home hope and second seed Yuki Bhambri in a thrilling championship clash.
The Aussie prevailed 7-5, 3-6, 7-5 in two hours and 37 minutes. He converted eight of 13 break chances to take his fifth Challenger crown. Thompson returns to the Top 100 of the ATP Rankings at No. 95, while Bhambri continues his quest to return to the Top 100 in his return from injury. His runner-up finish in Chennai saw him climb to No. 101.
Challenger La Manche (Cherbourg, France): One of the longest-running tournaments on the ATP Challenger Tour, the indoor hard court event in Cherbourg, celebrated its 25th anniversary last week. The tournament featured the return of former World No. 6 Gilles Simon to the Challenger circuit, as the top seed appeared in his first event since 2010. He was upset by Germany's Mats Moraing in the second round, and in the end, it was Moraing's countryman Maximilian Marterer who would lift the trophy.
Marterer did not drop a set all week in taking his fourth Challenger crown in five months. He dismissed Constant Lestienne 6-4, 7-5 in Sunday's final, securing his rise to a career-high No. 70 in the ATP Rankings. It won't be long before Marterer becomes a fixture on the ATP World Tour, after posting a ruthless 21-3 Challenger mark to close out 2017 and reaching the third round of the Australian Open last month. The 22-year-old earned his first Top 50 win in upsetting Fernando Verdasco in Melbourne.
Sealed with an ace! The rise of Maximilian Marterer continues. The 🇩🇪 claims his fourth #ATPChallenger title in five months, prevailing @ChallengerChbg.— ATP Challenger Tour (@ATPChallenger) February 19, 2018
🔜 career-high Top 70 pic.twitter.com/JVd00r6QLF
A LOOK AHEAD
Three tournaments are on the calendar this week, with the return of Thanasi Kokkinakis grabbing the headlines. The Aussie, who reached a career-high No. 69 in 2015, is competing in Morelos, Mexico in his return from a torn pectoral muscle. He is seeded sixth at the Morelos Open and joined by top seed Andrej Martin and Americans Kevin King, Dennis Novikov and Evan King.
In Kyoto, 2013 champion John Millman returns as the top seed, with 2008 winner Go Soeda seeded second. Japan's Tatsuma Ito, the titlist in 2012, is seeded fifth, while defending champion Yasutaka Uchiyama is eighth. Korean 20-year-old Soon-woo Kwon continues his quest for a maiden title.