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Challenger Tour Weekly Recap: Comesana Breaks out of a Slump to Secure a Top 100 Debut

Zizou Bergs Poznan

Francisco Comesana was a title away from breaking the Top 100 this week, but with his recent form, that trophy seemed very far away. He got there in some crazy circumstances, while Zizou Bergs defended his Tallahassee crown on the other side of the planet. In Acapulco, Giovanni Mpetshi Perricard became the 2nd player this year to win 3 Challenger Tour titles (after Valentin Vacherot). Read back on last week’s action:

Challenger Tour Weekly Recap


Ugo Blanchet had only reached one quarterfinal this season so far but managed to turn things around with a great run in Oeiras. Even his opening-round draw was pretty tough against the recent Murcia champion Henrique Rocha, but the key win was snapping Stefano Napolitano’s 7-match win streak in the quarterfinals from a set down. He later took out Valentin Royer to make his 2nd Challenger final, interestingly the 2nd at the Challenger 125 category after winning Malaga in 2023.

With a 7-9 record for the year, Francisco Comesana seemed very far from completing his Top 100 push before he’d start dropping plenty of points in late May. The Argentinian barely scraped through Elias Ymer in the second round, saving three match points from 3-6 down in the final set tie-break. It wasn’t even the last time he was in so much trouble this week, as Jaime Faria also led him 7-5 4-1 in the semifinals. But somehow, Comesana managed to make it to Sunday and get a chance to break the Top 100.

Comesana went up a set and was playing some pretty inspired attacking tennis, but the lack of confidence he’s had recently showed up in the most important game as he was trying to serve out the win at 5-3 in the 3rd. Blanchet pulled off a brilliant sprint to catch a drop volley on the very first point, which set the tone for the comeback, but the Frenchman couldn’t quite survive the nervy 5-6 game. Comesana grabbed his 5th Challenger title 6-4 3-6 7-5 and earned his Top 100 debut, just a week after it would have given him a Roland Garros main draw spot. He will play Madrid ATP 1000 qualifying now, while Blanchet missed out on that as the #11 alternate.


Adam Walton made a bit of a surprising run to the Morelos semifinals the week before, handling a few big servers despite the altitude conditions. Acapulco was much more in his comfort zone, and it showed as the Australian didn’t drop a set on the way to the final, needing just one tie-break against Alexis Galarneau in the final four (with that win, he avenged his loss from Mexico City). The 23-year-old made his third Challenger final of the season after picking up the Burnie title and finishing runner-up in Pune.

Giovanni Mpetshi Perricard was one of the main actors of the altitude swing, beating Walton in the semifinals of Morelos on the way to the title. The Frenchman managed to thrive in the slower conditions of Acapulco as well, coming back from a set down against Omar Jasika in the opening round. On the way to the final that was the only set he dropped and only time he got broken (twice). For Mpetshi Perricard this was also a third final of the season, but he won the previous two (Nottingham, Morelos).

Their Morelos semifinal was a very tight affair, but the final in Acapulco ended up being extremely lop-sided. Mpetshi Perricard never faced a break point as in the slower sea-level conditions, Walton’s efforts to put any pressure on his groundstrokes felt powerless. The backhand didn’t break down and he was actually putting plenty of quality spin on his stronger wing, which led to him grabbing the 4th Challenger title of his career 6-3 6-3 (3rd in 2024, catching Valentin Vacherot). Mpetshi Perricard is now about 100 points away from breaking the Top 100. He’ll now take some much-needed rest before clay-court action in Europe, while Walton withdrew from Shenzhen.


Mitchell Krueger is having a resurgent campaign this year, and after losing to eventual runner-up Zizou Bergs in the Sarasota quarterfinals, he kept up his form in the green clay swing with his first Challenger final on this surface (red or green). The 30-year-old went 3-0 in tie-breaks in the first three matches without dropping a set, before getting involved in a topsy-turvy affair against Stefan Kozlov. Krueger made his 2nd final of the season after winning the title in Indian Wells in January.

Zizou Bergs barely missed out on an opportunity to break the Top 100 and join the Roland Garros main draw last week, losing the Sarasota final to Thanasi Kokkinakis. To make matters worse, the Belgian also had to defend his Tallahassee title. This part of the season really suits him though and after surviving a three-hour battle with Clement Tabur in the second round, Bergs made it into another final by beating Calvin Hemery from 3-6 0-2 down.

The final was delayed by rain, and the humid conditions that players were struggling with throughout the week got slower and maybe even tougher to handle. Bergs found it in himself to be a bit more explosive on Sunday, but Krueger started the second set tie-break with a few points in a row. The Belgian kept his cool, though, saving four set points to claim his 8th Challenger title 6-4 7-6 and get just 19 points away from the Top 100. Krueger will stay in the States for Savannah, while Bergs received a main draw wildcard for the ATP 1000 in Madrid.

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Bu Yunchaokete suffered a surprising exit in Busan to Rio Noguchi in the opening round but was back to his best in Gwangju already. In the first two rounds, he earned a couple of retirement wins against Alexander Blockx and Arthur Fery, although the latter actually went to 4-4 in the 3rd before the Brit had to pull the plug due to cramps. The Chinese made his first final in almost a year by defeating Ricardas Berankis in a deciding set tie-break.

Former World No. 31 Lloyd Harris has had a very perplexing season so far, losing seven matches in a row after a very dominant Australian Open qualifying campaign. The Asian swing brought an end to his woes as he made the quarterfinals in Busan and now the final in Gwangju. In the first four matches this week, he didn’t drop more than four games in a set. That led him to making his first Challenger final since January 2023 when he lost to Arthur Cazaux in Nonthaburi.

Harris kicked off with a very strong opening set, but Bu made him work for it later like no one else did the whole week. The Chinese like it physically, and as soon as he neutralizes his opponent’s serve, he can easily live with him in the rallies, as the Harris groundstrokes can get quite pushy. Bu even managed to break at 3-all in the third set, but that was the last game he ended up winning. Harris claimed his 4th Challenger title (1st since 2019) as both finalists are expected in Shenzhen next week.

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Andrea Collarini came into the Challenger in San Miguel de Tucuman (or Tucuman for short) with a 5-8 record and only one quarterfinal so far this season (Buenos Aires). Having fallen outside the Top 300 he needed some big points quickly and defeated four countrymen on the way to his first final since January 2023 in Piracicaba. Only Lorenzo Joaquin Rodriguez was able to take a set off him, but eventually fell 4-6 in the decider.

Hernan Casanova, on the other hand, took on players from four different countries, with only his semifinal opponent, Valerio Aboian, also originating from Argentina. The 30-year-old had made just one Challenger semifinal in his career, also at the Challenger 50 level, losing via retirement to Matteo Arnaldi in Francavilla al Mare in 2022. He managed to reach a milestone by beating Felix Corwin from a set down and saving a match point against the aforementioned Aboian.

Collarini certainly had a bit more to offer on the attack as the match began, but Casanova managed to take out that advantage by the time they reached a dramatic finish of the second set. The Challenger Tour final debutant made his way to three consecutive set points on return at 5-4 40-0, but that lead evaporated way too quickly. Collarini hit back in the tie-break and claimed his 3rd Challenger title 6-4 7-6, beating five compatriots in a row. He decided to withdraw from Concepcion next week, while Casanova remains in the draw.

Challenger Tour magic:

Events held this week:

  • Savannah Challenger (Challenger 75, green clay)
  • Shenzhen Luohu Challenger (Challenger 75, hard)
  • Ostra Group Open by Moneta (Ostrava, Challenger 75, clay)
  • Roma Garden Open (Rome, Challenger 75, clay)
  • Challenger Dove Men+Care Concepcion (Challenger 50, clay)

With the first week of the ATP 1000 in Madrid, there will be no Top 100 players in action on the Challenger Tour.

First-round matches to watch:


  • (1) J.J. Wolf vs Joel Josef Schwaerzler
  • (WC) Stefan Kozlov vs (5) Alexander Ritschard


  • Dane Sweeny vs (4) Lloyd Harris
  • Mark Lajal vs (2) Adam Walton


  • (7) Henrique Rocha vs Daniel Rincon
  • Henri Squire vs (2) Gabriel Diallo


  • (1) Zsombor Piros vs (ALT) Alejandro Moro Canas
  • (8) Hugo Dellien vs (WC) Samuel Vincent Ruggeri


  • Daniel Dutra da Silva vs (3) Renzo Olivo
  • (ALT) Juan Carlos Prado Angelo vs (PR) Nicolas Alvarez

Main Photo Credit: Dawid Szafraniak


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