By The Numbers: 2021 ATP Challenger Tour
Bonzi Tops Wins Leaderboard
Benjamin Bonzi was a dominant force on the ATP Challenger Tour in 2021. The Frenchman amassed a tour-leading 50 match wins this year, joining the exclusive ’50 Wins Club’ in a single season. In the history of the Challenger circuit, only seven other players have won as many matches in a campaign. He concluded his breakout season with a 50-13 record, soaring to a career-high No. 60 in the FedEx ATP Rankings. Argentina’s Tomas Martin Etcheverry finished a close second, posting 49 wins.
Meanwhile, Jenson Brooksby was the most consistent performer, boasting an 88.5 win percentage (min. 25 matches played). The American star took full advantage of his opportunities, claiming 23 of 26 matches played in 2021. Sebastian Baez (86.3) and Tallon Griekspoor (85.7) were the only other players with at least 80 percent matches won.
Baez, meanwhile, became the winningest player age 20 & under in Challenger history. His 44 match wins are the most in a single season for a player before their 21st birthday.
|Tomas Martin Etcheverry||49||72.1|
Griekspoor Smashes Titles Record
Entering the year, only three players had won six titles in a single season on the ATP Challenger Tour. But in 2021 alone, an additional three players matched that record, with Griekspoor (8), Bonzi (6) and Baez (6) lifting trophy after trophy.
The 25-year-old Griekspoor captured the record for most crowns in a season with his victory in Tenerife, Spain. He would add an unprecedented eighth piece of silverware with a title the following week in the Slovak capital of Bratislava. In fact, since falling to Novak Djokovic at the US Open, the Dutchman did not lose another match for the rest of the year. He would reel off five straight titles on the ATP Challenger Tour in October and November, dominating on the clay of Murcia and Napoli I & II, before moving to the hard courts of Tenerife and Bratislava. His 25-match win streak is the longest in Challenger history.
Bonzi, meanwhile, set the tone in 2021, becoming the first of the trio to reach the six-title milestone. His victories in Potchefstroom and Ostrava were followed by a 20-match win streak, lifting four straight trophies in Segovia, Saint-Tropez, Cassis and Rennes.
Baez reached a tour-leading nine finals in 2021, all on clay, with titles coming on Chilean soil in Concepcion and Santiago I & II, as well as in Zagreb, Buenos Aires and Campinas.
Nine different teenagers accounted for a total of 15 Challenger titles this year, with Holger Rune (4), Juan Manuel Cerundolo (3) and Jiri Lehecka (2) the lone players with multiple crowns.
At 18 years and 6 months, Rune became the fourth-youngest player to win his fourth Challenger title. Only a 17-year-old Richard Gasquet (2003) and an 18-year-old Carlos Alcaraz (2021) and Felix Auger-Aliassime (2018) were younger.
Cerundolo made Argentine history this year, becoming the third-youngest player from his country to win three Challenger titles. Only Juan Martin del Potro and Guillermo Coria were younger when they lifted their third trophies.
Alcaraz, Dominic Stricker, Dalibor Svrcina, Brandon Nakashima, Carlos Gimeno Valero and Giulio Zeppieri were the only other teenage winners of the year. At the age of 18 years and 18 days, Alcaraz became the youngest champion of 2021 with his victory in Oeiras, Portugal.
|Carlos Alcaraz||Oeiras, POR||18 years, 8 days|
|Holger Rune||Biella, ITA||18 years, 1 month|
|Holger Rune||San Marino, SMR||18 years, 3 months|
|Holger Rune||Verona, ITA||18 years, 3 months|
|Holger Rune||Bergamo, ITA||18 years, 6 months|
|Dominic Stricker||Lugano, SUI||18 years, 7 months|
|Dalibor Svrcina||Prague, CZE||18 years, 10 months|
Biggest Movers To Top 100
The four biggest movers to the year-end Top 100 won multiple Challenger titles in 2021. Cerundolo led the way, jumping 252 spots to a year-end position of No. 89 in the FedEx ATP Rankings.
||Year-End 2020 – 2021
|Juan Manuel Cerundolo||+252||341 – 89||3|
|Jenson Brooksby||+251||307 – 56||3|
|Alex Molcan||+225||312 – 87||2|
|Sebastian Baez||+212||309 – 97||6|
Title Leaders By Country
Players from 35 countries won titles this year. Argentina boasted a tour-leading 20 titles from 11 different players, with the United States coming a close second with 19 victories.
In fact, the Argentine contingent tied the record for most titles in a season, with Argentina 2016, Argentina 2007 and France 2005 the other members of the ’20 Titles Club’. Baez led the charge with six crowns, alongside Cerundolo with three and Etcheverry and Coria with two apiece.
Dimitar Kuzmanov became the first Challenger champion from Bulgaria since Grigor Dimitrov in 2011, with his title in Barcelona.
Baez-6, JM Cerundolo-3, Etcheverry-2, Coria-2, Cachin-1, Bagnis-1, F Cerundolo-1, Carabelli-1, Mena-1, Tirante-1, Ficovich-1
Brooksby-3, Kozlov-3, Eubanks-2, Krueger-2, Nakashima-2, Korda-1, McDonald-1, Fratangelo-1, Sock-1, Tiafoe-1, Wolf-1, Cressy-1
Taberner-3, Zapata Miralles-2, Munar-1, Gimeno Valero-1, Carballes Baena-1, Alcaraz-1, Vilella Martinez-1, Martinez-1
|Bonzi-6, Rinderknech-1, Couacaud-1, Lestienne-1, Grenier-1, Blancaneaux-1|
ATP Tour & ATP Challenger Tour Winners
Four players lifted trophies on both the ATP Tour and ATP Challenger Tour this year.
|Player||ATP Tour title
||ATP Challenger title(s)
|Juan Manuel Cerundolo||Cordoba||Rome, ITA; Como, ITA; Banja Luka, BIH|
|Sebastian Korda||Parma||Quimper, FRA|
|Carlos Alcaraz||Umag||Oeiras, POR|
|Soonwoo Kwon||Nur-Sultan||Biella, ITA|
Doubles Title Leaders
Nuno Borges and Francisco Cabral dominated the doubles circuit in 2021, securing a tour-leading six team titles together. The Portuguese pair made the most of their opportunities on home soil, lifting trophies in Oeiras, Braga and Maia I & II, while also prevailing in Tenerife, Spain and Manama, Bahrain. France’s Sadio Doumbia and Fabien Reboul won the second-most titles of any team, lifting five trophies together.
Orlando Luz won the most doubles titles of any player, prevailing on eight occasions with four different partners. He prevailed alongside Rafael Matos (4), Felipe Meligeni Rodrigues Alves (2), Sergio Galdos (1) and Aleksandr Nedovyesov (1).
|Nuno Borges / Francisco Cabral||6|
|Sadio Doumbia / Fabien Reboul||5|
|Orlando Luz / Rafael Matos||4|
|Aleksandr Nedovyesov / Denys Molchanov||4|
- A total of 39 different players enjoyed their maiden moments of glory this year. Holger Rune was the youngest of the group at the age of 18 years and 1 month, while 28-year-old Italian Franco Agamenone was the oldest.
- A total of 30 #NextGenATP stars (born 2000 or later) won titles. Jenson Brooksby became the youngest ever to win three titles in the first four months of a Challenger season. His 19-2 mark through April was the second-best start to a season, behind only Janko Tipsarevic’s 20-0 record in 2017.
- Qualifiers claimed 10 titles, with Zizou Bergs going the distance on two occasions, winning seven matches in eight days in both St. Petersburg and Lille.
- Longest final: The longest final registered at three hours and seven minutes, with Nikola Milojevic beating Dimitar Kuzmanov 2-6, 6-2, 7-6(5) in Zadar, Croatia.
- Shortest completed final: At 46 minutes, Mats Moraing downed Hugo Gaston 6-2, 6-1 in Tulln, Austria.
- Juan Manuel Cerundolo and Flavio Cobolli contested the first all-teenage final since 2017, in Rome.
- Oldest winners: The ATP Challenger Tour featured two champions aged 35 and older in 2021. A 37-year-old Andreas Seppi won in Biella, Italy, while a 35-year-old Pablo Cuevas prevailed in Lyon, France.
- This year, four players saved at least one match point in a Challenger final: Emilio Gomez (3) in Salinas, Mats Moraing (2) in Forli, Max Purcell (1) in Nur-Sultan and Lukas Lacko (1) in Mallorca.
- Liam Broady won his first title in his eighth final appearance. It’s the second-most finals to win a maiden title in Challenger history, with Jan-Lennard Struff and Martin Rodriguez both claiming their first crowns in their ninth finals.
- Tallon Griekspoor’s 25-match win streak is the longest in Challenger history, surpassing Juan Ignacio Chela’s 24 wins in a row in 2001.
- Francisco Cerundolo and Juan Manuel Cerundolo became the sixth pair of brothers to win titles in the same season.
- At 15 years and 10 months, Gabriel Debru became the fourth-youngest player to win a Challenger match since 2000, with his first-round victory in Roanne, France. The Frenchman rallied from a set down to defeat Andrea Pellegrino 4-6, 6-2, 6-3, before falling to eventual champion Hugo Grenier.
- At No. 874, Dominic Stricker became the lowest-ranked champion in Challenger history with his victory in Lugano, Switzerland.
- At 40 years and 1 month, Feliciano Lopez became the second 40-year-old finalist in Challenger history, joining Ivo Karlovic (Houston 2019) with his runner-up finish in Tenerife.