Shelton's Challenger Recreation Plan: Compete Extra, Fear Much less


When American Ben Shelton fell brief within the Tiburon Challenger ultimate this previous month, {the teenager} left California pissed off that he had misplaced in all 3 ATP Challenger Excursion finals through which he had competed this 12 months. However a brand new mindset aided Shelton this week as he grabbed his maiden Challenger crown.

Shelton, who’s considered one of 5 Challenger champions this week, defeated shut pal Christopher Eubanks 7-6(4), 7-5 within the ultimate on the Jonathan Fried Professional Challenger in Charlottesville, Virginia to seize his long-awaited identify.

“I began to grasp that once I seemed again at the movie, it wasn’t as dangerous as I assumed it used to be,” Shelton mentioned. “I actually attempted to concentrate on the issues I will regulate, forestall being worried concerning the little issues corresponding to how smartly I’m hitting my forehand and as an alternative simply compete actually exhausting.”

ATP Challenger Tour 

After runner-up finishes in Rome (Georgia), Chicago, and Tiburon, the 20-year-old dropped only one set all week in Charlottesville en path to the identify. The previous College of Florida standout is the 5th participant to win the NCAA singles identify and a Challenger identify in the similar season and the primary since Steve Johnson in 2012.

“I went in [to this week] with a mindset that I used to be going to out compete everyone,” Shelton mentioned. “I used to be going to carry extra power than everybody I performed. I believe that used to be a actually giant a part of my good fortune this week.”

Ben Shelton celebrates winning his first ATP Challenger Tour title
Ben Shelton celebrates profitable his first ATP Challenger Excursion identify. Credit score: Allen Hoover

Shelton is the 3rd #NextGenATP American to say a Challenger identify this 12 months (Zachary Svajda, Emilio Nava). The lefty rises to a career-high No. 128 within the Pepperstone ATP Ratings.

In Charlottesville doubles motion, Britain’s Julian Money and Henry Patten triumphed to win a season-leading 7th Challenger identify, the primary time a duo has captured greater than six Challenger titles in a season since Max Purcell and Luke Saville (7) in 2019.

In Bergamo, Italy, Finland’s Otto Virtanen complex thru qualifying en path to claiming his maiden Challenger identify, defeating Jan-Lennard Struff 6-2, 7-5 within the ultimate on the Trofeo Perrel – Faip.

The 21-year-old is the primary Finnish Challenger champion since Emil Ruusuvuori in 2019. Virtanen is solely the second one participant from Finland to win a Challenger identify up to now 10 years.

“I had a possibility of no longer even coming right here,” Virtanen mentioned. “I performed the doubles ultimate Saturday in Brest and I needed to fly right here to play my first tournament Sunday. Day-by-day, I stored enjoying higher.”

Otto Virtanen wins his maiden Challenger title in Bergamo, Italy.
Otto Virtanen is topped champion in Bergamo, Italy. Credit score: Antonio Milesi

Virtanen, who used to be competing in his first Challenger ultimate, used to be a semi-finalist on the Surbiton and Liberec Challengers previous this season. Virtanen joins a powerful record of former champions in Bergamo together with the former 3 titlists: Holger Rune, Jannik Sinner, and Matteo Berrettini.

The identify on the indoor exhausting courtroom match lifts the #NextGenATP teen to a career-high 195.

German Daniel Altmaier finished his run of shooting back-to-back titles on the Challenger Ciudad de Guayaquil. The 24-year-old, who gained the Lima Challenger every week previous to Sunday, took down Federico Coria 6-2, 6-4 to increase his match-winning streak to ten.

Daniel Altmaier triumphs at the Guayaquil Challenger.Daniel Altmaier triumphs on the Guayaquil Challenger. Credit score: Jose Alvarado

“This week used to be very sure for me,” Altmaier mentioned. “I stopped nowadays with the identify and that makes me more than pleased. I performed in opposition to Coria ultimate week and I felt somewhat comfy. I had a excellent plan to play till the ultimate level so I used to be at all times preventing, enjoying smartly till I gained.”

Altmaier, who additionally gained the Heilbronn Challenger in Might, is considered one of 5 males to say a trio of Challenger titles this season: Quentin Halys, Consistent Lestienne, Luca Nardi, and Wu Yibing. Pedro Cachin and Jack Draper have claimed a season-leading 4 Challenger titles.

On the NSW Open in Sydney, Australia, Yu Hsiou Hsu earned his maiden Challenger identify. The 23-year-old from Chinese language Taipei defeated house favorite Marc Polmans 6-4, 7-6(5) within the ultimate.

Hsu, who’s a three-time Grand Slam boys’ doubles champion (2017 Australian Open, Wimbledon, US Open), used to be competing in simply his 6th Challenger match of the season. Hsu didn’t drop a collection all week en path to the identify and climbs to a career-high 226.

Australian Christopher O’Connell took down house hope Japan’s Yosuke Watanuki 6-1, 6-7(5), 6-3 to win the Yokohama Keio Challenger.

Chris O'Connell in action at the 2022 Yokohama Challenger.
Chris O’Connell in motion on the 2022 Yokohama Challenger. Credit score: Yokohama Keio Challenger

“Clearly I’m lovely satisfied,” O’Connell mentioned throughout the trophy presentation. “That is my fourth Challenger win, it’s at all times excellent to get the win, particularly in Japan, I really like enjoying right here.”

O’Connell, who has gained 8 of his previous 9 suits, is a three-time Challenger finalist this season, together with in Cut up, Croatia, the place the Aussie gained his first of 2 titles this 12 months. At his house Slam in January, the Sydney local disenchanted thirteenth seed Diego Schwartzman ahead of falling to Maxime Cressy within the 3rd spherical. The identify in Japan lifts the 28-year-old to a career-high 84.

Did You Know?
Holger Rune gained the Rolex Paris Masters to turn into the second one participant this season to win a Challenger and a Masters 1000 identify, becoming a member of Borna Coric. Coric’s identify in Cincinnati marked the primary time the feat has been finished since 1993, and now the Danish teenager and the Croat have blended to make historical past.



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