Former Faculty Standouts Gojo, Hijikata Win Maiden Challenger Titles

Australian Rinky Hijikata and Croatia’s Borna Gojo cruised to victory to say their maiden ATP Challenger Tour titles this week. Hijikata dropped only one set all week to win on residence soil in Playford, Australia, whereas Gojo was unbroken on the Ortisei Challenger. Gojo and Hijikata are amongst 5 Challenger champions this week.

#NextGenATP Hijikata took down Japan’s Rio Noguchi 6-1 6-1 in Sunday’s ultimate to win the Metropolis of Playford Worldwide.

“I’m stoked [to win the title], I’m over the moon,” Hijikata mentioned. “It’s just a little little bit of a aid, it’s at all times good to win the primary title, it’s not straightforward to recover from that hump. To have the ability to try this this week at residence, I’m fairly pleased with the best way I performed this week.

“I got here out firing. I believed I caught to my sport plan properly. I performed to the [windy] circumstances in addition to I might.”

ATP Challenger Tour 

Hijikata, 21, made his Challenger Tour main-draw debut on the 2018 Playford Challenger and this week, the fifth seed collected the title to change into the youngest Australian to win a Challenger title since 2018, when the-then 19-year-old Alexei Popyrin gained in Jinan, China. The title in Australia lifts Hijikata to a career-high No. 159 within the Pepperstone ATP Rankings.

Hijikata, who performed school tennis at College of North Carolina from 2020-21, earned All-American honours as a sophomore earlier than turning professional.

In August, the Sydney native claimed his first Tour-level win on the ATP 250 occasion in Los Cabos, Mexico, the place he superior by qualifying and defeated wild card Pacheco Mendez earlier than falling to then-World No. 1 Daniil Medvedev. On the US Open, Hijikata made his Grand Slam main-draw debut and pushed Rafael Nadal to 4 units within the opening spherical.

Gojo, 24, went on a run ousting 4 of the top-seven seeds on the indoor exhausting court docket occasion in Ortisei, Italy, together with defeating seventh seed Lukas Klein within the ultimate 7-6(4), 6-3 to win the Sparkasse Challenger Val Gardena.

Borna Gojo in action at the 2022 Ortisei Challenger.
Borna Gojo in motion on the 2022 Ortisei Challenger. Credit score: P.Codeluppi/ChallengerOrtisei

“That is large for me,” Gojo mentioned. “I’m comfortable I used to be in a position to put collectively a pleasant event right here and win my first Challenger.”

“It’s [The surface] a bit sooner than normal, which is nice for my serve, it helps me get some free factors.”

The Cut up native, a former school standout, completed runner-up at 2018 NCAA Division I Tennis Championships (l. Chrysochos) and was named a three-time All-American at Wake Forest College. In 2018, Gojo helped Wake Forest earn the NCAA crew title. Following his victory in Ortisei, Gojo climbs to a career-high 148.

On the Lima Challenger, Daniel Altmaier was topped champion to win his second Challenger title this season. The German escaped Argentine Tomas Martin Etcheverry 6-1, 6-7(4), 6-4 within the ultimate.

Daniel Altmaier celebrates winning a point at the Lima Challenger.
Daniel Altmaier celebrates successful some extent on the Lima Challenger. Credit score: @igmachallengers

Altmaier, 24, wanted deciding units in 4 out of his 5 matches in Lima to triumph and ousted high seed Federico Coria within the semi-finals. After claiming the Heilbronn Challenger in Might, Altmaier climbed to a career-high 53. The title in Peru is Altmaier’s fifth Challenger title.

Gregoire Barrere gained the all-French ultimate in Brest, defeating 18-year-old Luca Van Assche 6-3, 6-3 to win the Open Brest-Credit score Agricole.

“It was an awesome week for me,” Barrere mentioned. “I had a stage of play that elevated because the week went on. As soon as I gained my first spherical match right here, it was all or nothing.”

Gregoire Barrere in action at the 2022 Brest Challenger.
Gregoire Barrere in motion on the 2022 Brest Challenger. Credit score: Un Oeil Averty

Barrere, seeded third, dropped only one set en path to claiming his fifth Challenger title. The 28-year-old is a five-time Challenger finalist this season, together with in Orleans, the place he gained his first Challenger title (d. Halys) of 2022. The Frenchman rises to No. 93, marking a return to the Prime 100 for the primary time since August 2020.

Van Assche, who rises to a career-high No. 208, additionally reached the ultimate on the Lisbon Challenger in September and certified for the ATP 250 occasion in Antwerp, Belgium (l. Nishioka).

Tennys Sandgren superior by qualifying en path to successful the Las Vegas Tennis Open, the place he defeated countryman Stefan Kozlov 7-5, 6-3 within the ultimate.

“This win means so much to me as it has been a tricky couple of years,” Sandgren mentioned. “That is the primary time I’ve accomplished a trophy speech in fairly a while. I obtained fortunate. We could possibly be within the third set by now, roles reversed.”

Tennys Sandgren is crowned champion at the 2022 Las Vegas Challenger.
Tennys Sandgren is topped champion on the 2022 Las Vegas Challenger. Credit score: Steve Krahn

The title on residence soil is Sandgren’s first Challenger title since Might 2017 (Savannah). In January 2019, Sandgren gained his maiden Tour-level title in Auckland (d. Norrie) and climbed to a career-high 41.

Kozlov, who had defeated Sandgren in 5 of their earlier six conferences throughout all ranges, held 5 set factors within the opening set, however was unable to transform them. The 24-year-old was competing in his first Challenger ultimate this season.

from Tennis – ATP World Tour

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