ATP Challenger Tour: Happy Valley, Noumea, and Bangkok start the new season - UBITENNIS
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ATP Challenger

ATP Challenger Tour: Happy Valley, Noumea, and Bangkok start the new season



Adrian Mannarino is the highest ranked player taking part in Challengers in the first week of the 2017 season (Image via

The ATP Challenger Tour is back in action next week, with three tournaments starting the new season in 2017.

Noumea: The top seed is Adrian Mannarino, who returns to the tournament he used as his starting point for the 2016 season. The World No.60, who is also the defending champion has World No. 756 Aleksandar Vukic as his first assignment.

Seeds first-round matches (descending down the draw, picks in bold).

(1) Adrian Mannarino vs Aleksandar Vukic

Jose Hernandez-Fernandez vs (5) Kenny de Schepper

(3) Duckhee Lee vs Cameron Norrie

Tristan Lamasine vs (6) Dennis Novikov

(8) Mathias Bourgue vs Mitchell Krueger

Romian Bosquet vs (4) Quentin Halys 

(7) Stefano Napolitano vs Adrian Menendez-Maceiras

Jake Delaney vs (2) Roberto Carballes-Baena.

Look out for: Noah Rubin who started strongly at last year’s Australian Open, only to be curtailed by injury through much of 2016 is in the draw, as is young Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas. Alejandro Falla is under pressure with a weak ranking and is defending finalist points from this event last year.

Happy Valley: Top seed Donald Young will be looking to arrest a ranking slide by winning in Happy Valley. Defending champion Taylor Fritz is absent from this year’s draw, as is last year’s finalist Dudi Sela.

Seeds first round matches (descending through the draw, picks in bold).

(1) Donald Young vs Rueben Bemelmans

Michael Mmoh vs (7) Grega Zemlja

(3) Denis Kudla vs Uladzimir Ignatik

Alexander Sarkissian vs (6) Darian King

(5) Norbert Gombos vs Omar Jasika

Marc Polmans vs (4) Peter Polansky

(8) Marton Fucsovics vs Marcelo Arevalo

Matthias Bachinger vs (2) Joao Souza

Bangkok: Yuichi Sugita features as the top seed in Bangkok, with former Top 10 star Janko Tipsarevic also in action.

Seeds first round matches (descending through the draw, picks in bold).

(1) Yuichi Sugita vs Qualifier

Chayanon Kaewsuto vs (6) Di Wu

(4) Henri Laaksonen vs Sekou Bangoura

Qualifier vs (5) Janko Tipsarevic 

(7) Maximillian Marterer vs Qualifier

Warit Sornbutnark vs (3) Marius Copil

(8) Yannik Reuter vs Blaz Kavcic

Congsup Congcar vs (2) Denis Istomin

My pick for the title: Henri Laaksonen





ATP Challenger

Danielle Collins beats Caroline Garcia to reach the second semifinal of her career in Miami



Danielle Collins beat Caroline Garcia 6-3 6-2 in 80 minutes to reach her second semifinal at the Miami Open. Collins became the first qualifier to reach the semifinal in the history of this tournament. 

Collins achieved her third win against a seeded player in five matches over the past seven days. 

Collins dropped just 11 points in nine service games against Garcia and hit 22 winners to Garcia’s 12. 

Collins earned a break in the eighth game and held serve to seal the first set 6-3. The US player broke serve in the third game of the second set and never looked back to close out the match in 1 hout and 19 minutes. 

Collins has extended her record to 4-0 in her head-to-head matches against Garcia and has not lost a set to her French opponent. 

Collins set up a semifinal match against the winner of Wednesday night’s match between Jessica Pegula and Elena Alexandrova, who beat world number one player Iga Swiatek in the fourth round.  

Collins won two WTA titles in Palermo and San José in 2021 but she has not reached a WTA Tour level final since losing to Ashleigh Barty in Melbourne in 2022. 

“I think Caroline Garcia comes out here and fights her butt off. She hits some really strong shots. I don’t think the set scores are a reflection of how close the match really is”, said Collins. 

Garcia beat Naomi Osaka and Coco Gauff to reach the quarter finals in Miami for the first time in her career. The French player was troubled by an injury to her right shoulder and received treatment early in the second set. 

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ATP Challenger

Dominic Thiem To Return At Marbella Challenger, Joins Wawrinka In Stacked Field

Dominic Thiem will be joining Stan Wawrinka in making his return to action at the Marbella challenger next week.



Stan Wawrinka and Dominic Thiem (@SK_Tennis - Twitter)

Dominic Thiem will finally make his return to the ATP tour at the Marbella challenger next week.

The Austrian hasn’t played a tennis match since retiring at the grass court event in Mallorca last June due to a wrist injury.

Despite being scheduled to play at the Australian Open and at the Indian Wells-Miami swing, Thiem had to postpone his return as he wasn’t quite ready to compete in matches.

However now Thiem has decided to return as he will begin his clay court swing next week at the Marbella Challenger.

The former Roland Garros finalist took to Instagram to announce the news as he looks to climb back up the rankings.

The world number 50 will face tough competition with former Roland Garros champion Stan Wawrinka also making his comeback at the event in Spain next week.

At the blockbuster event there will also be the likes of Holger Rune, Pablo Cuevas, Jaume Munar and Lucas Pouille competing.

The winner of the event will receive 125 ranking points but much more importantly for Thiem and Wawrinka much needed match practice ahead of a busy European clay-court swing.

Thiem will be the top seed while Wawrinka will be unseeded with their being a possibility of the two heavyweights meeting in the opening round.

Play will start on Monday with Jaume Munar being the defending champion.

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ATP Challenger

Roberto Bautista Agut reaches his second career final in Doha



Roberto Bautista Agut reached the second final of his career at the Qatar Exxon Mobil with a 6-3 6-3 win over defending champion Andrey Rublev. 

Bautista Agut broke serve in the fourth game with a forehand winner to open up a 3-1 lead and held on his next service games to close out the first set 6-3 after 29 minutes. 

The Spaniard started the second set with an early break. Rublev broke straight back in the second game and won his next two service games to take a 3-2 lead. Bautista Agut saved two break points to hold serve before getting two consecutive breaks to claim the second set 6-3. 

Rublev was playing his first match this week after two walkovers. The Russian player claimed the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam last week. 

“It was very difficult to play tennis today, with the windy conditions, but I put a lot of pressure on his second serve and played really good tennis. I played a long match yesterday against Dominic Thiem, but I felt fresh and I had a lot of power on the court. This is one of my favourite tournaments. I played one of my best matches here in Qatar two years ago, and I hope I can win one more match tomorrow”, said Bautista Agut.

Bautista Agut set up a final against Nikoloz Basilashvili, who beat Taylor Fritz 7-6 (7-3) 6-1. 

Basilashvili, who beat Roger Federer in the quarter final, rallied from one break down to win the tie-break of the first set 7-3. The Georgian player broke twice in the second and sixth games to close out the second set 6-1.  “To reach the final means a lot. I am playing well and I am relaxed. It’s great to play in front of a crowd and a nice atmosphere”, said Basilshvili. 

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