The ATP Challenger Tour held no scarcity of historic moments this season. From crowning champions who went on to showcase their expertise on the season’s most prestigious occasions, to Argentina’s record-setting 23 titles, or Li Tu’s emotional victory in Seoul.

Because the 2023 season approaches, opinions 5 memorable moments from the ATP Challenger Tour this yr.

ATP Tour and Challenger Tour Champions
Six gamers, together with Borna Coric and Holger Rune, claimed titles on the Challenger Tour and at a Tour-level event.

Coric, who received the Parma Challenger in June, upset three High-10 gamers en path to successful the title in Cincinnati to grow to be the primary participant since 1993 to win a Challenger and an ATP Masters 1000 title in the identical season. After which it was the Danish teen’s flip in Bercy.

Rune, 19, claimed the Sanremo Challenger in April earlier than rising to a few Tour-level titles, together with the ATP Masters 1000 occasion in Paris.

4 different males have been additionally topped champions at each ranges: Yoshihito Nishioka, Marc-Andrea Huesler, Francisco Cerundolo, and Lorenzo Musetti.

Lorenzo Musetti is topped champion on the 2022 Forli-6 Challenger.” />
Lorenzo Musetti is topped champion on the 2022 Forli-6 Challenger. Credit score: Riccardo Lolli

Argentina’s File-Setting 23 Titles
Heading into this season, the earlier file for many Challengers by a single nation in a season, 20, had been reached 4 occasions (France in 2005, Argentina in 2007, 2016, 2021). After tying the file for a 3rd time in 2021, Argentine gamers set their sights on making an attempt to face alone on the prime of the Challenger Tour file books. After breaking the file in late October, Argentine gamers added two extra trophies and completed with 23 Challenger titles in 2022.

Pedro Cachin, 27, held a season-leading 4 Challenger titles (tied w/ Jack Draper) and was the one Argentine who captured greater than two titles this season. Cachin, World No. 57, received titles in Madrid, Prague, Todi, and Santo Domingo.

“Most Challenger titles in a yr is unimaginable.” Cachin stated. “It is wonderful to have such a possibility for all of the gamers to be part of one thing particular like that. It’s not straightforward for our gamers to journey the world, going very removed from residence, however to have this achievement makes all of it value it.

Pedro Cachin in motion Sunday within the Santo Domingo Challenger closing.” />
Pedro Cachin in motion on the Santo Domingo Challenger closing. Credit score: David A. Martinez

“Particularly for the youthful guys, to see that Argentina has the power and potential to win many titles. Hopefully this may improve the keenness of gamers from Argentina to play this nice sport. For us, it’s a privilege to be part of this nice second. The blokes have labored exhausting and their expertise is now displaying.”

Li Tu Dedicates Challenger Title To His Late Mom
The Australian’s journey to the ATP Challenger Tour has been a novel trek. In 2014, Tu was discovering success on the junior degree, however the-then 18-year-old determined to place his racquets away to pursue a school diploma and a training enterprise, leading to a six-year hiatus from skilled tennis.

If it wasn’t for Tu’s shut pal having a heart-to-heart dialog with him two years in the past, he might have by no means returned to skilled tennis and loved the success he’s discovered this yr.

After struggling the lack of his mom in September, Tu travelled to South Korea the day after her funeral. Little did he know what the Korean Challenger swing had in retailer for him.

Li Tu is topped champion on the 2022 Seoul Challenger.” />
Li Tu wins the 2022 Seoul Challenger. Credit score: Do Gained Kim

On the Seoul Challenger, which was Tu’s seventh Challenger look, the 26-year-old superior by qualifying en path to his maiden title. Tu devoted the victory to his mom, who would’ve celebrated her birthday the day after his title.

Shang Juncheng Rescues Ballkid
The Chinese language teen and American Stefan Dostanic have been locked in a three-set battle in scorching temperatures within the American state of Kentucky when Shang seen a ballkid, Atharva Dang, in misery.

After asking Atharva if he was okay, Shang exclaimed, “He’s going to faint!” Instantly, Shang set his racquet down and assisted the overheated boy, lifting him into his arms and speeding him behind the umpire’s chair and out of the direct daylight. After setting him down within the shade, Shang gave a bottle of water to Atharva and positioned an ice-pack behind his head.

Shang Juncheng and ballkid Atharva Dang on the Lexington Challenger. Credit score: Rena Behr

The day after that second of sportsmanship, Shang and the ballkid reunited for an image. Whereas Dang competed in a neighborhood event that weekend, the Beijing native was topped champion on the Lexington Challenger. Shang grew to become the youngest participant to win a Challenger title since Carlos Alcaraz at Alicante in 2020 and the youngest Chinese language champion in Challenger Tour historical past.

Shelbayh Secures Historical past
On the Rafa Nadal Open by Sotheby’s, 18-year-old Abdullah Shelbayh grew to become the primary participant from Jordan to win a match in ATP Challenger Tour historical past.

“It’s surreal,” Shelbayh stated following his victory over top-seeded Dominic Stricker. “To do one thing on your nation is a giant achievement. I come from a small nation the place tennis isn’t a giant sport and to try this, it means so much to me to be within the historical past of my nation. I truly by no means considered that coming into the match, however it feels wonderful. I hope many gamers from Jordan present their expertise within the close to future and I can encourage them as a lot as doable.”

Abdullah Shelbayh celebrates his first Challenger Tour win. Credit score: Alvaro Diaz/Rafa Nadal Academy

Though his first Challenger win got here removed from his Jordan residence, it was solely becoming it got here on the Rafa Nadal Academy, the place Shelbayh has educated since he was 14-years-old.

The Academy graduate was a semi-finalist on the Mallorca Challenger, the place he misplaced to Zizou Bergs.

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