On Sunday, the Nitto ATP Finals celebrated its Brand New Winner under the bright lights of The O2 in London. Alexander Zverev gave the tennis world a fresh glimpse into the future as he maintained his biggest title.
Zverev’s victory marked the ATP World Tour season’s conclusion, but one week remains on the ATP Challenger Tour. Players have one last opportunity with a handful continuing their quest for spots that are coveted, to jockey for position from the ATP Rankings.
A set of tournaments that are $50,000 cap the season on the Challenger circuit, with the carpet courts of Andria, Italy and outdoor hard courts of Pune, India. The Andria e Castel del Monte Challenger is back on the calendar, maintaining its traditional spot for a sixth straight year. In Pune, the KPIT MSLTA Challenger finishes a two-week Indian swing, signaling a party of tennis in the nation.
Ugo Humbert contributes a solid field in Andria, which also contains home favourites Lorenzo Sonego and Paolo Lorenzi, in addition to fellow #NextGenATP celebrities Corentin Moutet and Liam Caruana. Caruana is coming off an appearance in the Next Gen ATP Finals after winning the wild card competition.
After enrolling a second half of the year the Humbert will likely be one to watch in 2019. He also earned a nomination for Newcomer of the Year in the 2018 ATP World Tour Awards Presented By Chandon & Moët. The best seed in Andria, he enters the week at No. 100 in the ATP Rankings and will probably be looking to complete the year as the youngest Frenchman in the Top 100.
Humbert is among three players vying for Top 100 endings in Andria, with No. 107 Sonego and No. 109 Lorenzi needing to acquire the title to attain the feat. Defending champion Uladzimir Ignatik is also back and could face Humbert from the second round.
Meanwhile, in Pune, No. 102 Radu Albot is the best seed and also bidding for a third straight year-end Top 100 berth. He is joined by freshly minted Indian No. 1 Prajnesh Gunneswaran, who’s coming off a title in nearby Bengaluru. Just one month ago, Gunneswaran was sitting at No. 170, but a 12-3 stretch has since transferred him into the precipice of a Top 100 breakthrough, soaring to No. 110. He needs to win the title in Pune to have a opportunity.
Albot and Gunneswaran are accompanied by past year’s runner-up Ramkumar Ramanathan, who reached his first ATP World Tour last earlier this year in Newport, in addition to 18-year-old Spaniard Nicola Kuhn, 20-year-old Brit Jay Clarke and rising Aussies Marc Polmans and Max Purcell.
View free live streams of all the actions from Andria and Pune at ATPChallengerTour.com.