It was the coronation of Corentin on Sunday. #NextGenATP star Corentin Moutet has been fighting for this moment since he turned pro three years ago, and it was finally realized.
The 20-year-old from Neuilly-Sur-Seine, France, capped his Top 100 breakthrough with a title on home soil in Lyon. Moutet had his moment in the spotlight in front of a boisterous home crowd at the Open Sopra Steria, defeating Elias Ymer 6-4, 6-4 on Sunday afternoon.
Moutet was made to work for his fourth ATP Challenger Tour trophy and second of the year, battling for a pair of three-set wins before avenging a 2017 defeat to Ymer. He needed one hour and 50 minutes to prevail, sealing the title on his third match point.
“It’s a big satisfaction to win today,” said Moutet. “My opponent is a good player. I lost against him two years ago, here in Lyon. I was expecting a big fight today. I did my best all week and while it was hard sometimes, my level was quite high. I won and that’s the most important thing. Now I’m going back to work tomorrow.”
Lyon has its first champion… @moutet99!
— ATP Challenger Tour (@ATPChallenger) June 16, 2019
One week after enjoying a tour-level breakthrough at Roland Garros, stunning Guido Pella for his first appearance in the third round of a Grand Slam, he is reveling in a breakthrough of another kind. His victory in Lyon vaulted him to the Top 100 of the ATP Rankings for the first time, soaring to a career-high No. 86. In addition, he is up to seventh in the ATP Race To Milan, with the Top 7 automatically qualifying for the Next Gen ATP Finals in November.
“There are not a lot of ways to progress [up the ATP Rankings]. It happens by working constantly every day, not only sometimes. I know that if I want to progress, I have more to do. That’s why I’m going back to work tomorrow, to continue on this way and go a little bit more every day.”
The youth movement in France has now kicked into high gear. Canada is no longer the only nation with multiple #NextGenATP stars in the Top 100, with Moutet joining countryman Ugo Humbert in the elite club.
#NextGenATP Top 100 Debuts In 2019
|Felix Auger-Aliassime||18||25 February|
|Casper Ruud||20||4 March|
|Miomir Kecmanovic||19||18 March|
Earlier in the year, Moutet etched his name in the history books with a title on the hard courts of Chennai, India. He became the first teenager to triumph in three consecutive seasons since Evgeny Korolev achieved the feat from 2005-07. Now, aged 20, Moutet is close to putting his Challenger days behind him.
“We all make mistakes, but what we have to keep in mind is that we learn from our mistakes. I wasn’t perfect during this tournament, but I’m still learning. Improving each day on the court but also outside is really important. I’m learning and growing.”