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Challenger Tour Weekly Recap: Third Time’s the Charm for Mate Valkusz

Kwiatkowski ahead of Challenger Tour event in Little rock

With Roland Garros qualifying taking place last week, only one ATP Challenger Tour event was held. In Skopje, Mate Valkusz claimed his maiden title to join his peers Fabian Marozsan and Zsombor Piros, the other members of the golden Hungarian generation (born in 1998-1999), in the Challenger winners’ circle. Read back on last week’s action:


Francisco Comesana had only made one Challenger quarterfinal in 2023 prior to Skopje, but also took a 25K title in Tucuman. This was his first appearance outside of South America and in that more open field with most usual suspects playing Roland Garros qualifying. The 22-year-old’s campaign was extremely clean and on the way to the final, he didn’t lose a single set. Giovanni Fonio was the only opponent who managed to take him to a tie-break.
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Mate Valkusz missed his second chance at a Challenger title in Ostrava earlier this spring, but did well to secure himself another one soon. The Hungarian had to start from the qualifying draw in Skopje, but that didn’t turn out to be that much of an issue with just seven games lost. The whole path to the final wasn’t that easy though and Andrew Paulson had him on the ropes in the first round at 4-2 up in the decider. Valkusz survived, took another three-setter against the recent Rome champion, Sumit Nagal, and blasted his way to the championship match.

Valkusz was the favorite for the final and contrary to the final he played less than a month earlier, he actually delivered. A better shotmaker than Comesana, he used early timing and dropshot to maintain control over the rallies. Whenever the Argentinian would try to be more aggressive, the control over his groundstrokes would go away a bit. Valkusz claimed his maiden Challenger title 6-3 6-4. Comesana got in as an alternate into Vicenza, the Hungarian chose to withdraw from the qualifying of that same event.

Challenger Tour magic:

Events held this week:

  • Saturn Oil Open (Troisdorf, Challenger 75, clay)
  • Trofeo FL Service – Citta di Vicenza (Challenger 75, clay)
  • UAMS Health Little Rock Open (Challenger 75, hard)

Due to the first week of Roland Garros, no top 100 players will be in action.

First-round matches to watch:


  • (1) Pavel Kotov vs Joris De Loore
  • (4) Lukas Klein vs (WC) Marko Topo


  • (3) Vit Kopriva vs Andrea Collarini
  • Luciano Darderi vs (2/WC) Luca Nardi

Little Rock

  • Skander Mansouri vs (7) Aziz Dougaz
  • (PR) Thai-Son Kwiatkowski vs Viktor Durasovic

Main Photo Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports


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