Sports. Honestly. Since 2011

Challenger Tour Weekly Recap: Top 100 Champions Only Including David Goffin

David Goffin Davis Cup

All three winners of ATP Challenger Tour events this week were ranked inside the top 100. David Goffin and Federico Coria were the top seeds in their respective events, while Gregoire Barrere was the highest-ranked player in the field after Quentin Halys’s withdrawal. Read back on this week’s action:


David Goffin had to pull out of the Australian Open due to sickness, but was quickly back in action in Ottignies-Louvain-la-Neuve, getting a pre-approved ATP wildcard (which he needed to enter as a top 50 player). In his first Challenger since March last year, the Belgian managed to get off to a fast start. On his way to the final, he dropped the opening set to Yannick Hanfmann in the quarterfinals, but managed to get back on track and only dropped three more games to the German after that.

Mikael Ymer didn’t sign up for this event and decided to enter the qualifying as an alternate as the draw wasn’t full. Despite being the second highest-ranked player in the field, he needed to get through two additional matches to enter the main stage of the tournament. Fortunately for him, he only dropped one set on his way to the final, beating Belgium’s Raphael Collignon 6-7 6-2 6-2 in the opening round of the main draw. Ymer also isn’t a Challenger regular anymore, this was his first event at this level since August.

It was the highest-ranked Challenger final since Nottingham last year when Dan Evans (35) beat Jordan Thompson (74) and the first with two top 70 players since Phoenix 2019 when Matteo Berrettini (43) beat Mikhail Kukushkin (57). Goffin came out firing, taking every ball early and putting a lot of pressure on Ymer. The Swede tried to fight back, but his forehand can easily lose its control if he tries to go for too much off that wing.

Goffin won his 8th Challenger title 6-4 6-1, his first trophy at that level since 2014. Both players are scheduled for Davis Cup ties next weekend – Ymer at home versus Bosnia and Herzegovina, while the champion at Ottiginies-Louvain-la-Nueve will be going to South Korea.


Gregoire Barrere usually does extremely well in all the French indoor Challengers and this one was no exception. He was very close to falling on the first hurdle though, going 3-5 down in the deciding set tie-break to Emilio Nava. Grabbing the next four points in a row allowed him to survive and he was able to blast his way through to another final. This was his 13th Challenger championship match and only one of them didn’t take place on home soil (10/13 indoors as well).

Having taken his maiden Challenger title at Oeiras a couple of weeks ago, Arthur Fils was back in action in style in Quimper. The 18-year-old went a set down to Gijs Brouwer and Otto Virtanen, but produced some very mature and professional performances to first level and then eventually take these matches without that much of a hustle. By the time he made the final, Fils found himself on a streak of nine consecutive matches won.

The older of the Frenchmen pulled off one of his best performances of the week in the final, finding his timing off the ground almost instantly. His pace and huge flat hitting were just too much for Fils to deal with and on top of that, the 18-year-old just wasn’t getting much out of his serve, only winning 56% (15/27) of points on his first delivery.

Barrere claimed his 6th Challenger title 6-1 6-4. All these trophies he was able to grab indoors in France (Lille x2, Quimper x2, Brest, Orleans). The 28-year-old will be sitting at a career-high ranking of World No. 76 on Monday. Both players will now take a week of rest before appearing in the ATP 250 in Montpellier.


Federico Coria started his season in Australia, where he only managed to secure one win in six matches. However, hard courts were never his cup of tea and the Argentinian instantly found a way to take it up a notch in Concepcion. On his way to the final, he only dropped one set to Federico Delbonis in the quarterfinals, but clinched the next two at the loss of just four games total. He also made surprisingly light work of Hugo Dellien in the final four.

Timofey Skatov was also in Australia this month, pulling off a better win/loss record than Coria (2-2), but missing out on qualifying for the first Slam of 2022. Back on his favorite surface, the Kazakh started by defeating the recent Nonthaburi runner-up Tung-Lin Wu, before going on to defeat Alejandro Tabilo in a dramatic quarterfinal bout. The 22-year-old made his third Challenger final when Facundo Diaz Acosta was forced to retire against him at 5-7 1-1 in the final four.

Similarly to the other two finals this week, there just wasn’t that much the underdog could do. Skatov was actually hitting his forehand very well, but lacked a tiny bit more punch to have a shot at putting Coria away consistently. The Argentinian was very focused and determined in turning defence into offence though, punishing his opponent with his own stronger wing whenever possible.

Coria took his 5th Challenger title 6-4 6-3. He will now rest up for a week before appearing in Cordoba (ATP 250), while Skatov stays in Chile for the Davis Cup tie against that nation.

Challenger Tour magic:

Events held next week:

  • Koblenz Open powered by Outlet Montabaur (Challenger 100, indoor hard)
  • Tenerife Challenger 2 (Challenger 75, hard)
  • Cleveland Open (Challenger 75, indoor hard)
  • Caterpillar Burnie International (Challenger 75, hard)

Top 100 players in action:

  • Zhizhen Zhang, Roman Safiullin (Koblenz)
  • Daniel Altmaier (Cleveland)

First-round matches to watch:


  • (3) Vasek Pospisil vs Emilio Nava
  • Geoffrey Blancaneaux vs (2) Roman Safiullin


  • (WC) Martin Landaluce vs Riccardo Bonadio
  • (6) Alexander Shevchenko vs Oleksii Krutykh


  • Alafia Ayeni vs (8) Gabriel Diallo
  • (WC) Alex Michelsen vs (4) Jack Sock


  • (3) Max Purcell vs (WC) Alex Bolt
  • Tristan Schoolkate vs (4) Rio Noguchi

Main Photo:


More Posts

Send Us A Message