Two college standouts were among a sweep of four first-time winners in the ATP Challenger Tour last week. Gabriel Diallo made the best possible use of a wild card as a home hope in Canada, while Monaco’s Valentin Vacherot advanced through qualifying to capture his maiden Challenger Tour title in Nonthaburi.
Diallo, a Montreal native, defeated China’s Juncheng Shang 7-5, 7-6(5) to capture the Les Championnats Banque Nationale de Granby.
“I’m super happy, it’s a feeling I’ve never experienced before. I’ve won matches and tournaments before, but this just feels different. I didn’t have any expectations coming into the tournament,” Diallo said.
The 20-year-old is the youngest Canadian champion on the Challenger Tour since Felix Auger-Aliassime won the Tashkent Challenger in 2018.
Currently a senior at the University of Kentucky, Diallo will not be able to celebrate the biggest title of his career for long. He will instead fly back to the United States for his Monday afternoon lecture.
“Next for me is going back to school and making my 1pm class tomorrow (Monday) afternoon and go from there.”
Earlier this month, the 6’7” youngster earned his first Top 100 victory in first-round qualifying in Montreal, where he defeated Australian James Duckworth. Diallo then was forced to retire in his next match against Hugo Gaston, ending his chances of advancing to the main draw at the ATP Masters 1000 event in Canada.
Appearing in just his fourth Challenger Tour event, Diallo’s run to the title in Granby, Canada, lifts him to a career-high No. 335 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings.
Shang, 17, was riding a nine-match winning streak entering Sunday’s final. Earlier this month, the teen made history at the Lexington Challenger, where he became the youngest Chinese champion in ATP Challenger Tour history. After making back-to-back finals, the lefty rises to a career-high No. 202 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings.
Vacherot won seven matches in eight days to claim the Bangkok Open-1, defeating Vietnam’s Nam Hoang Ly 6-3, 7-6(4) in Sunday’s final.
Valentin Vacherot in action during Sunday’s final in Thailand.
The former Texas A&M University standout dropped just one set all week en route to becoming the second player from Monaco to win a Challenger title and the first since Jean-Rene Lisnard triumphed at the St. Petersburg Challenger in 2004.
Vacherot climbs to a career-high 271 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings.
Ukrainian Oleksii Krutykh held his nerve in a three-set battle Sunday to claim his first Challenger title, defeating German Lucas Gerch 6-3, 6-7(2), 6-2 to capture the IBG Prague Open by Moneta Money Bank.
Krutykh, 20, is the youngest Ukrainian champion on the Challenger Tour since Alexandr Dolgpolov won the Meknes Challenger in 2010 and is the first Ukrainian to win a Challenger title this season.
The Kyiv native rises to a career-high No. 226 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings.
Krutykh first broke through the Challenger Tour scene when he advanced through qualifying en route to making the semi-finals at the Nur-Sultan-4 Challenger in 2021 (l. Kubler).
Despite never playing a Challenger Tour final before, Hungarian Fabian Marozsan was unfazed as he needed just 49 minutes to take down home favourite former World No. 23 Damir Dzumhur 6-2, 6-1 to claim the Srpska Open.
Fabian Marozsan cruised to claim his first ATP Challenger Tour title.
The 22-year-old dropped one set all week in Bosnia-Herzegovina and will now make his Top 200 debut, climbing to No. 185 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings.
Despite Hungary’s close 2-3 loss to Australia in the Davis Cup tie in March, Marozsan teamed with countryman Mate Valkusz to claim the duo’s maiden Davis Cup victory, defeating Australians John Peers and Luke Saville in straight-sets.