Challenger Tour Weekly Recap: Mikael Ymer Debuts in the Top 100

Mikael Ymer ATP Bastad
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Speaking of this week’s Challenger Tour action, you can’t omit the unfortunate Florence incident. We’ve already covered it here and you should check out the article if you didn’t hear about a chair umpire who sexually harassed a ball girl and pep talked one of the players.

Onto some better sportsmanship, Mikael Ymer took home his third Challenger title of the year in Orleans. The Swede did not lose a single set in his winning run and it is particularly impressive given the quality of the opposition. He will now debut in the ATP Rankings top 100.

Mikael Ymer Debuts in the Top 100

Ymer’s path to the title was much tougher than a typical Challenger draw. The Swede had to face Ilya Ivashka and Evgeny Donskoy before running into both finalists of the Moselle Open. He snapped Aljaz Bedene’s wonderful 27-match winning streak and this level (dating back to 2017) and took revenge on Jo-Wilfried Tsonga for a semifinal loss three weeks ago at the Cassis Challenger.

Not often do you have to face three top 100 players to win an ATP Challenger Title and that’s exactly what Ymer had to endure. In the final against Gregoire Barrere, the new world no. 83 showed the huge developments he made to his game this year.

Naturally a counter puncher, Ymer was brilliant on his own delivery, fending off all three breakpoints. In the tougher moments, the Swede tried to take the initiative himself and performed many brilliant “serve +1” combinations. It’s the evolution of his aggressive game that made 2019 a breakthrough season for the 21-year-old.

Mikael is signed up for another Challenger event in two weeks at Mouilleron le Captif. Then he will get a chance to test himself against the world’s best at a home ATP event in Stockholm.

Other winners of the week:

Marco Trungelliti won his second ATP Challenger title, defeating Pedro Sousa in Florence. The Argentinian saved two match points against Mario Vilella Martinez in the quarterfinals. (World no.80 Philipp Kohlschreiber had a decent week, reaching the final four. He had a 5-0 lead in the second set against Sousa and ended up losing the match in straights.

Sumit Nagal, most known for taking a set off Federer at this year’s US Open (the Fegal rivalry), took his second Challenger Tour title in Buenos Aires. The Indian didn’t have it easy in the early round, dropping a set in each of his first three matches. However, he turned up the pace as the tournament went on and even destroyed Thiago Monteiro in 56 minutes in the semifinals.

Tommy Paul defeated Thanasi Kokkinakis in the championship match at Tiburon. The American claimed his third Challenger title of the year. He will now reach a career-high ranking of no. 81.

As per usual, some Challenger Tour magic:

An almost Shapovalov-like default:

Tommy Paul’s sportsman diet:

It’s vital to synchronize well with your doubles partner:

Not every tournament has fancy rain covers like Roland Garros:

Maxime Cressy with a successful tweener:

And Stakhovsky winning a vintage cat and mouse rally:

Next week of the ATP Challenger Tour will consist of three Challenger 80 events. Nur-Sultan, Barcelona and Campinas will be hosting some very exciting line-ups. Be sure to check our recap of that week the next Sunday/Monday.

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