SEARCH FOR PRODUCTS AND INFO

Berrettini Saves 1 MP For Phoenix Crown

A LOOK BACK
Arizona Tennis Classic (Phoenix, Arizona, USA): If the first edition of the Arizona Tennis Classic is any indication of what’s to come, the tournament will be a staple on the ATP Challenger Tour for many years. 

Matteo Berrettini and Mikhail Kukushkin produced arguably the most dramatic match of the Challenger season thus far, battling for two hours and 50 minutes in Sunday’s final. It was the Italian prevailing in the end, ousting his Kazakh opponent 3-6, 7-6(6), 7-6(2) after saving one match point in the second set.

One year after Kukushkin ousted Berrettini in the final edition of the event in Irving, Texas, the Italian got his revenge at the inaugural Challenger 125 in Phoenix. Same week, same final match-up, but a different result under the Arizona sun. 

Less than a year after lifting his maiden ATP Tour trophy in Gstaad, Berrettini celebrated his third Challenger title. The 22-year-old Rome native is off to a strong start to 2019, having also reached the semi-finals at the Sofia Open.

With Berrettini entering the week at No. 57 in the ATP Rankings and Kukushkin at No. 43, it was the highest-ranked Challenger final in two years. As a whole, the tournament featured a world-class field, with all 16 seeds inside the Top 100. David Goffin led the pack, but was upset in the quarter-finals by Salvatore Caruso.

Pingshan Open (Shenzhen, China): This was a long time coming for Marcos Baghdatis. After five years, the former World No. 8 returned to the winners’ circle, claiming the title in Shenzhen. The second seed defeated Stefano Napolitano 6-2, 3-6, 6-4 in Sunday’s final, capping a strong week in the Chinese city.

Baghdatis had dropped four straight finals – three on the ATP Tour and one on the Challenger circuit – since he last lifted a trophy at the 2014 Geneva Challenger. But this was the Cypriot’s week to shine. He is pushing towards a Top 100 return after struggling with a knee injury in 2018. Having also secured a signature Top 20 win over Lucas Pouille last month in Montpellier, the 33-year-old is making his move in the early stages of the year.

Baghdatis

Challenger Banque Nationale de Drummondville (Drummondville, Canada): Top seed Ricardas Berankis is a force on the ATP Challenger Tour in 2019. The 28-year-old did not drop a set in clinching a pair of titles, following his convincing performance in Rennes, France, with an equally dominant showing in Drummondville.

Berankis capped his campaign in Canada with a 6-3, 7-5 victory over Yannick Maden on Sunday, claiming his 11th Challenger title in impressive fashion. He joins Alexander Bublik as the only players with multiple titles thus far this year. Up 13 spots to No. 82 in the ATP Rankings, the Lithuanian is targeting a Top 50 return in the near future. He also recently registered a quarter-final result as a qualifier at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.

Berankis

A LOOK AHEAD
The three-week China swing concludes in Zhangjiagang, with top seed and New York Open finalist Brayden Schnur leading the pack. James Duckworth is seeded second, with Chinese teen Wu Yibing also in the field.

And at the Play In Challenger in Lille, France, home hope Gregoire Barrere looks to go back-to-back after clinching the title in last year’s inaugural edition. He is seeded third, while Spanish veteran Guillermo Garcia Lopez is first and Drummondville finalist Maden is second.

ATP Challenger Tour 

Berrettini Saves 1 MP For Phoenix Crown

A LOOK BACK
Arizona Tennis Classic (Phoenix, Arizona, USA): If the first edition of the Arizona Tennis Classic is any indication of what’s to come, the tournament will be a staple on the ATP Challenger Tour for many years. 

Matteo Berrettini and Mikhail Kukushkin produced arguably the most dramatic match of the Challenger season thus far, battling for two hours and 50 minutes in Sunday’s final. It was the Italian prevailing in the end, ousting his Kazakh opponent 3-6, 7-6(6), 7-6(2) after saving one match point in the second set.

One year after Kukushkin ousted Berrettini in the final edition of the event in Irving, Texas, the Italian got his revenge at the inaugural Challenger 125 in Phoenix. Same week, same final match-up, but a different result under the Arizona sun. 

Less than a year after lifting his maiden ATP Tour trophy in Gstaad, Berrettini celebrated his third Challenger title. The 22-year-old Rome native is off to a strong start to 2019, having also reached the semi-finals at the Sofia Open.

With Berrettini entering the week at No. 57 in the ATP Rankings and Kukushkin at No. 43, it was the highest-ranked Challenger final in two years. As a whole, the tournament featured a world-class field, with all 16 seeds inside the Top 100. David Goffin led the pack, but was upset in the quarter-finals by Salvatore Caruso.

Pingshan Open (Shenzhen, China): This was a long time coming for Marcos Baghdatis. After five years, the former World No. 8 returned to the winners’ circle, claiming the title in Shenzhen. The second seed defeated Stefano Napolitano 6-2, 3-6, 6-4 in Sunday’s final, capping a strong week in the Chinese city.

Baghdatis had dropped four straight finals – three on the ATP Tour and one on the Challenger circuit – since he last lifted a trophy at the 2014 Geneva Challenger. But this was the Cypriot’s week to shine. He is pushing towards a Top 100 return after struggling with a knee injury in 2018. Having also secured a signature Top 20 win over Lucas Pouille last month in Montpellier, the 33-year-old is making his move in the early stages of the year.

Baghdatis

Challenger Banque Nationale de Drummondville (Drummondville, Canada): Top seed Ricardas Berankis is a force on the ATP Challenger Tour in 2019. The 28-year-old did not drop a set in clinching a pair of titles, following his convincing performance in Rennes, France, with an equally dominant showing in Drummondville.

Berankis capped his campaign in Canada with a 6-3, 7-5 victory over Yannick Maden on Sunday, claiming his 11th Challenger title in impressive fashion. He joins Alexander Bublik as the only players with multiple titles thus far this year. Up 13 spots to No. 82 in the ATP Rankings, the Lithuanian is targeting a Top 50 return in the near future. He also recently registered a quarter-final result as a qualifier at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.

Berankis

A LOOK AHEAD
The three-week China swing concludes in Zhangjiagang, with top seed and New York Open finalist Brayden Schnur leading the pack. James Duckworth is seeded second, with Chinese teen Wu Yibing also in the field.

And at the Play In Challenger in Lille, France, home hope Gregoire Barrere looks to go back-to-back after clinching the title in last year’s inaugural edition. He is seeded third, while Spanish veteran Guillermo Garcia Lopez is first and Drummondville finalist Maden is second.

ATP Challenger Tour 

Stars, Showers & Hoops: Tennis Is Back In Phoenix

It’s one of the more critical periods on the ATP Challenger Tour calendar. The second week of the BNP Paribas Open, an ATP Masters 1000 event, is not only important for those still competing in the California desert.

Those seeking more matches following an early exit in Indian Wells are targeting this week’s inaugural Arizona Tennis Classic in Phoenix, before making the trek to Miami for the second of the ‘March Masters’ events. The field is as strong as ever for a Challenger tournament.

Led by World No. 21 David Goffin, the stacked draw features a total of five Top 50 players and 17 in the Top 100 of the ATP Rankings. John Millman is seeded third, with recent Marseille finalist Mikhail Kukushkin fourth. #NextGenATP star Casper Ruud is looking to build off a Top 100 debut in the ATP Rankings, following his semi-final run in Sao Paulo.

The Phoenix area has previously hosted a long-running ATP Tour event in nearby Scottsdale (from 1986-2005), which featured Andre Agassi, Lleyton Hewitt and John McEnroe among its champions. It most recently welcomed a Challenger in the suburb of Tempe in 2017.

Dallas

“This definitely the strongest Challenger of the year, falling between Indian Wells and Miami,” said Millman. “Everyone knows that it’s almost like a tour event. I knew that coming in, that every match was going to be tough. After I went out early in Indian Wells, I wanted some quality matches heading into Miami. I didn’t want to just relax in tennis paradise. I think it’s awesome to come here and compete against top players and the tournament has made me feel very welcome so far.”

“It’s really good for a first-time event,” said Mitchell Krueger. “I don’t how long they have been planning this in advance. You can’t control the weather obviously, but I think everything else is as good as you can ask for.”

[ALSO LIKE]

Despite being held at the affluent Phoenix Country Club, featuring world-class facilities including a state-of-the-arm gym and player area and courts, the tournament did not get off to a flying start. As Krueger alluded to, the weather wreaked havoc on the opening few days. Persistent rain showers led to the completion of just 12 of the 16 first-round matches on Monday and Tuesday. Seeds did not take the court until Wednesday, with doubles play not beginning until Thursday.

With spirits dampened, no pun intended, players enjoyed a night out at the Phoenix Suns basketball game on Wednesday. More than 20 players took in the action from a private suite at Talking Stick Arena, as the Utah Jazz defeated the Suns 114-97. It was a fun evening of hoops, good food and entertainment. 

In fact, during a timeout, four players were brought to the court and tasked with tossing t-shirts and tennis balls into the crowd. From firing serves on the tennis court to launching prizes into the upper deck at a Phoenix arena, it was a memorable experience. Millman, Krueger, Pedja Krstin and Jason Jung were the quartet on the court.

“It’s the first time for me to go on an NBA court and it’s a good opportunity,” said Jung. “I don’t know if I’ll ever have the chance to do that again. It was really cool to throw out the shirts for the fans and you don’t get to do it that often. I like basketball and follow the Los Angeles Lakers since I was a kid, but they’ve been pretty disappointing lately.”

A similar activity happened at the Cleveland Open presented by Cleveland Clinic in January. Noah Rubin, Stefan Kozlov, Marcos Giron and Ulises Blanch tossed t-shirts and tournament tickets into the crowd.

“I could only hope to live up to the hype that Noah and Koz created,” said Krueger. “It was a lot of fun being on the floor. I’ve had courtside seats to a game before, but never been on the court itself.”

Following two days of clear, sunny skies, order has been restored at the Challenger 125 event. An all-Italian quarter-final features Matteo Berrettini vs. Lorenzo Sonego, with third seed Millman facing 12th seed Guido Andreozzi. Another Italian, Salvatore Caruso meets either Goffin or Ruud. Also, fourth seed Mikhail Kukushkin battles either Taro Daniel or Nicolas Jarry.

ATP Challenger Tour 

Stars, Showers & Hoops: Tennis Is Back In Phoenix

It’s one of the more critical periods on the ATP Challenger Tour calendar. The second week of the BNP Paribas Open, an ATP Masters 1000 event, is not only important for those still competing in the California desert.

Those seeking more matches following an early exit in Indian Wells are targeting this week’s inaugural Arizona Tennis Classic in Phoenix, before making the trek to Miami for the second of the ‘March Masters’ events. The field is as strong as ever for a Challenger tournament.

Led by World No. 21 David Goffin, the stacked draw features a total of five Top 50 players and 17 in the Top 100 of the ATP Rankings. John Millman is seeded third, with recent Marseille finalist Mikhail Kukushkin fourth. #NextGenATP star Casper Ruud is looking to build off a Top 100 debut in the ATP Rankings, following his semi-final run in Sao Paulo.

The Phoenix area has previously hosted a long-running ATP Tour event in nearby Scottsdale (from 1986-2005), which featured Andre Agassi, Lleyton Hewitt and John McEnroe among its champions. It most recently welcomed a Challenger in the suburb of Tempe in 2017.

Dallas

“This definitely the strongest Challenger of the year, falling between Indian Wells and Miami,” said Millman. “Everyone knows that it’s almost like a tour event. I knew that coming in, that every match was going to be tough. After I went out early in Indian Wells, I wanted some quality matches heading into Miami. I didn’t want to just relax in tennis paradise. I think it’s awesome to come here and compete against top players and the tournament has made me feel very welcome so far.”

“It’s really good for a first-time event,” said Mitchell Krueger. “I don’t how long they have been planning this in advance. You can’t control the weather obviously, but I think everything else is as good as you can ask for.”

[ALSO LIKE]

Despite being held at the affluent Phoenix Country Club, featuring world-class facilities including a state-of-the-arm gym and player area and courts, the tournament did not get off to a flying start. As Krueger alluded to, the weather wreaked havoc on the opening few days. Persistent rain showers led to the completion of just 12 of the 16 first-round matches on Monday and Tuesday. Seeds did not take the court until Wednesday, with doubles play not beginning until Thursday.

With spirits dampened, no pun intended, players enjoyed a night out at the Phoenix Suns basketball game on Wednesday. More than 20 players took in the action from a private suite at Talking Stick Arena, as the Utah Jazz defeated the Suns 114-97. It was a fun evening of hoops, good food and entertainment. 

In fact, during a timeout, four players were brought to the court and tasked with tossing t-shirts and tennis balls into the crowd. From firing serves on the tennis court to launching prizes into the upper deck at a Phoenix arena, it was a memorable experience. Millman, Krueger, Pedja Krstin and Jason Jung were the quartet on the court.

“It’s the first time for me to go on an NBA court and it’s a good opportunity,” said Jung. “I don’t know if I’ll ever have the chance to do that again. It was really cool to throw out the shirts for the fans and you don’t get to do it that often. I like basketball and follow the Los Angeles Lakers since I was a kid, but they’ve been pretty disappointing lately.”

A similar activity happened at the Cleveland Open presented by Cleveland Clinic in January. Noah Rubin, Stefan Kozlov, Marcos Giron and Ulises Blanch tossed t-shirts and tournament tickets into the crowd.

“I could only hope to live up to the hype that Noah and Koz created,” said Krueger. “It was a lot of fun being on the floor. I’ve had courtside seats to a game before, but never been on the court itself.”

Following two days of clear, sunny skies, order has been restored at the Challenger 125 event. An all-Italian quarter-final features Matteo Berrettini vs. Lorenzo Sonego, with third seed Millman facing 12th seed Guido Andreozzi. Another Italian, Salvatore Caruso meets either Goffin or Ruud. Also, fourth seed Mikhail Kukushkin battles either Taro Daniel or Nicolas Jarry.

ATP Challenger Tour