Sumit Nagal Returns To Challenger Tour Winners’ Circle

  • Posted: May 01, 2023

Sumit Nagal Returns To Challenger Tour Winners’ Circle

Seyboth Wild completes double duty in Buenos Aires

The ATP Challenger Tour prides itself in providing a raw look into professional tennis, offering an opportunity for fans to watch players go from grind to glory.

Indian Sumit Nagal is a case in point. The 25-year-old returned to the Challenger Tour winners’ circle Sunday following a difficult journey.

Nagal advanced through qualifying at the Roma Garden Open and went on a dream run, downing Dutchman Jesper de Jong 6-3, 6-2 in the final.

Nagal, who is one of five Challenger champions this week, captured his third Challenger title and first since 2019. Nagal’s journey since claiming the Buenos Aires Challenger four years ago has been filled with challenges, including undergoing right hip surgery in 2021. But this week on the Italian clay courts came with a great reward.

“It always feels good to lift a trophy, especially when it’s been four years since you won your last one,” Nagal wrote in an Instagram post following the Rome Challenger title. “There were times when the days were cold and the cards all fold.

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“It was hard to believe that this day would come. I struggled with numerous injuries, came back from surgery, fought covid multiple times, endured tough matches, tougher training regimes, and my own internal demons.”

In South Korea, #NextGenATP star Yunchaokete Bu collected his maiden Challenger title and made Chinese tennis history.

Bu defeated seventh seed Aleksandar Vukic 7-6(4), 6-4 in the Pleisure Seoul Open final to become the third Chinese Challenger champion aged 21 and under, joining the-then 17-year-olds Wu Yibing (2017) and Shang Juncheng (2022).

Following Yunchaokete’s six titles on the ITF Men’s World Tennis Tour last season, the Hangzhou native is building upon his momentum on the Challenger Tour. His triumph in South Korea lifts him to a career-high No. 167 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings.

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Thiago Seyboth Wild collected his second Challenger title of the season Sunday, when he claimed the Challenger AAT Legion Sudamericana in Buenos Aires. The 23-year-old defeated third seed Luciano Darderi 6-3, 6-3 in the final.

Seyboth Wild, who triumphed at last month’s Vina del Mar Challenger, tallied a 15-2 Challenger-level record across March and April, including a finalist finish at the Santiago Challenger.

The Brazilian Seyboth Wild also teamed with Francisco Comesana to win the doubles title in Buenos Aires. The duo defeated Argentines Hernan Casanova and Santiago Rodriguez Taverna 6-3, 6-7(5), 10-6 in the final.

On the green clay of the Savannah Challenger, second seed Facundo Diaz Acosta won his second Challenger title. The Argentine defeated home hope Tristan Boyer 6-3, 6-1 in the final.

<a href=''>Facundo Diaz Acosta</a> wins the 2023 <a href=''>Savannah Challenger</a>.
Facundo Diaz Acosta wins the 2023 Savannah Challenger. Credit: George Schminke

Diaz Acosta, 22, needed a deciding set in three of his five matches to triumph. The Buenos Aires native, who reached five Challenger semi-finals in 2022, is at a career-high 132 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings following his title in the United States.

In other Savannah Challenger action, semi-finalist Patrick Kypson secured the USTA’s Roland Garros wild card challenge, which is based on performance in outdoor clay Challenger-level events or higher over a four-week period. Kypson is awarded a main-draw wild card into the season’s second major.

In Ostrava, Czech Republic, home favourite Zdenek Kolar downed Hungarian Mate Valkusz 6-3, 6-2 to win his fourth Challenger title and first since 2021.

<a href=''>Zdenek Kolar</a> in action at the Ostrava Challenger.
Zdenek Kolar in action at the Ostrava Challenger. Credit: Ostra Group Open by Moneta

The 26-year-old Kolar has fond memories on the Ostrava clay. In 2016, he completed a dream run to his first Challenger final as a teenage wild card. This week, the Czech went one step further to be crowned champion at the Ostra Group Open by Moneta.

Last season, Kolar made his Grand Slam main-draw debut at Roland Garros, where he reached the second round and took a set off fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas.

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