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Challenger Tour Weekly Recap: Prizmic Becomes a Challenger Champion a Week After Turning 18

Clay-court tennis

Dino Prizmic keeps rising up the rankings and despite turning eighteen just eight days prior, he already claimed his maiden Challenger title in Banja Luka. Adam Walton also joined the winners’ circle with a remarkable run in Cary that included saving match points on two occasions. There were also three second-time champions in Jan Choinski, Genaro Alberto Olivieri, and Matteo Gigante. Here’s a look back at last week’s action:

Challenger Tour Weekly Recap

Santo Domingo

Alberto Oliveri has done really well on green clay over the years, winning a 25K ITF in Naples back in 2019 and impressing in a Sarasota quarterfinal appearance this year. The Argentinian also had a phenomenal run to the French Open third round, but had gone a bit quiet since. His draw in Santo Domingo was fairly straightforward until the semifinals, where he had to take on top-seeded Federico Coria. Olivieri eventually prevailed, despite going down a break in the third set.

Marco Trungelliti was the runner-up in Santo Domingo the year before and green clay conditions definitely suit his aggressive game. The Argentinian was in stellar form on the way to another championship match in the Dominican Republic capital, not dropping a set while facing dangerous opponents like Alejandro Tabilo or Francisco Comesana. Trungelliti had previously made just one semifinal this season in Murcia in April.

With rain completely delaying the action on Saturday, both the semifinals and the final had to be played on Sunday. At least the situation was fairly even for both players, despite Olivieri going three in his final four match. He seemed to be getting a bit gassed in the second set, but was back to dictating with his forehand in the decider and never got close to losing the break lead he found in the very first game. Olivieri claimed his second Challenger title 7-5 2-6 6-4 and will debut inside the top 150. Both finalists are supposed to move to hard courts now – the champion in Stanford, the runner-up in Winnipeg.

Banja Luka

Prizmic turned 18 just the week before Banja Luka and despite that, he’s already making massive leaps in the rankings. The junior champion at Roland Garros this year, he made his 7th quarterfinal of the season and finally got over the line to reach the final four at this level for the first time. His toughest battle on the way to the final came against Akira Santillan in the opening round (lost the first set 2-6). In the final four, he was set for a blockbuster clash with Fabian Marozsan, but the Hungarian was forced to withdraw.

Kimmer Coppejans had reached just one semifinal in 2023, despite often seemingly playing a lot better than his results suggest. In his previous two Challengers, he lost to Daniel Rincon in the second round both times. With the Spaniard in Meerbusch last week, this time he was able to pull off a comeback against Nino Serdarusic at that stage of the event. In the final four, he eliminated Marko Topo just like in Banja Luka last year, although this time much more comfortably (6-0 6-1 compared to saving two match points).

Coppejans has a nice forehand that he can use to dictate rallies, but he’d be doing much better if that shot had just a tiny bit more power on it. Prizmic wasn’t even 100% physically on Sunday, still making himself a nightmare to hit through for the Belgian. With not enough conviction in his ventures to the net, Coppejans just wasn’t able to take advantage against his very consistent opponent. Prizmic claimed his maiden Challenger title 6-2 6-3 and broke the top 200. He’s supposed to play Prague next in a week, but maybe his sudden ranking jump will change his plans. It comes too late for a US Open qualifying spot, which will be Coppejans’s next appearance.


A champion in Tenerife in February and a finalist in Milan last month, Gigante was pushed early by Vladyslav Orlov, eradicating big deficits in sets two (1-3) and three (2-4) to stay in the tournament. It turned out to be crucial as the Italian started pushing through the draw a lot more comfortably. In the semifinals, he stopped another inspired run from his countryman Enrico Dalla Valle, who’s recently in the best form of his career.

Lukas Neumayer reached his maiden Challenger final in Salzburg in July and usually only succeded at the Challenger level in fast clay/altitude conditions. The Austrian got a pretty favorable draw in Cordenons, coming back from a set down against Matteo Martineau in the quarterfinals. Riccardo Bonadio was his only Challenger-established opponent and he pulled off a great win over the Italian by taking the second-set tiebreak 15-13.

Neumayer was really struggling to get himself going in Sunday’s final, allowing Gigante to easily control the play with his lefty spins and good variety. Anytime the Austrian tried to go for something on the attack, it just resulted in unforced errors. He eventually saved himself from the double bagel with a few trademark forehand combinations, but Gigante took his second Challenger title 6-0 6-2, only dropping nine points on serve. The runner-up chose to withdraw from Todi and will be back in Prague, while the champion rests up before US Open qualifying.


Camilo Ugo Carabelli’s 2023 campaign hadn’t been amazing with his best result of the year coming back in January with a semifinal in Piracicaba. The Argentinian was also out for two months after Roland Garros and it seems like that break has actually helped him a little. Coming off a quarterfinal appearance in Luedenscheid, he was able to keep up that improved disposition in Meerbusch as well, dropping his only set on the way to the final against Benjamin Hassan.

Choinski found himself in big trouble in the second round in Meerbusch, blowing a couple of match points against Louis Wessels to find himself 5-6 0-40 down on serve in the deciding set. He was able to recover though, not going for too much and just spreading the court well to get the errors from the German. Having previously made three semifinals this season, he locked up his first shot at a title by beating Titouan Droguet in the final four.

The final started out fairly close with Ugo Carabelli breaking to go up 4-3 in the opening set. But from that point onwards, Choinski quickly run away with it to claim the next nine games in a row and his second Challenger title 6-4 6-0. He was getting a lot more out of his serve and began dictating and spreading the court with his steady power. He will now find himself at a career-high ranking inside the top 130 for the very first time. Ugo Carabelli intends to play in Todi next, while Choinski rests up until US Open qualifying.


Nicolas Moreno de Alboran has been excellent at these sort of quiet runs to Challenger finals this year with a title in Tyler and a runner-up finish in Chennai. This one was similar with him eliminating two talented collegians in Quinn Vandecasteele and Stefan Dostanic, before going on to beat Ryan Peniston in the quarterfinals. The only set he lost on the way to the final came against Patrick Kypson, but he weathered the storm there very quickly.

A former college player for the University of Tennessee, Walton has been on the rise since graduating, picking up five ITF titles and making a Challenger semifinal in Little Rock earlier this year. His run to the final was a lot tougher than Moreno de Alboran’s with him having to take out second-seeded Rinky Hijikata and third-seeded Liam Broady. Walton also saved a match point in a thriller with Billy Harris in the second round, winning 3-6 7-6 7-6.

It really was a magical week for Walton and he was still playing positive tennis with aggressive forehands and lots of net approaches in the final. Anytime the more established and experienced Moreno de Alboran would finally grab a lead with his big serve and forehand counter-punching, the Australian would quickly respond with a forehand winner of his own or a successful play in the forecourt. That happened on the two match points saved as Walton claimed his maiden Challenger title 6-4 3-6 7-5, coming back from 4-5 15-40 on return in the third set. He moves very close to the top 200, grabbing a special exempt for Stanford (Moreno de Alboran plays that event too).

Challenger Tour magic:

Events held next week:

  • Golden Gate Open (Stanford, Challenger 125, hard)
  • Lotto Kozerki Open (Challenger 100, hard)
  • Winnipeg National Bank Challenger presented by MBuilds (Challenger 75, hard)
  • Internazionali di Tennis Citta di Todi (Challenger 75, clay)

Top 100 players in action:

  • Arthur Rinderknech, Yosuke Watanuki (Stanford)
  • Jack Draper, David Goffin (Winnipeg)

First-round matches to watch:


  • Denis Kudla vs (7) Aleksandar Kovacevic
  • Steve Johnson vs (2) Yosuke Watanuki


  • (1) Tomas Machac vs Filip Peliwo
  • Maks Kasnikowski vs (3) Zdenek Kolar


  • (3) Benjamin Bonzi vs Yuta Shimizu
  • Leandro Riedi vs (2) David Goffin


  • (1) Zsombor Piros vs Daniel Michalski
  • (3) Mariano Navone vs (WC) Enrico Dalla Valle

Main photo credit: Credit: Matthias Hauer/GEPA via USA TODAY Sports


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