Benjamin Bonzi is redefining what it means to be ‘on fireplace’. There’s sizzling after which there’s Bonzi scorching sizzling.
The Frenchman is etching his title within the ATP Challenger Tour file books in September, dominating the circuit with authority. On Sunday, he lifted the trophy on the indoor laborious courts of the Open Blot Rennes, sprinting by means of the draw for his third consecutive crown. That’s, three titles on residence soil in three weeks and simply three mixed units misplaced. He’s the primary participant to go back-to-back-to-back on the circuit since Mikhail Youzhny in 2016.
“This was unimaginable,” mentioned Bonzi, who defeated Mats Moraing 7-6(3), 7-6(3) for the Rennes crown. “I knew it was not going to be simple in opposition to Mats, however I held on. I used to be capable of decide to my plan immediately and get an early lead in each tie-breaks. I thank my coach Lionel who has been with me all 12 months. And I thank the viewers right here in Rennes. The ambiance was sick all week.”
The victory not solely gave Bonzi his third straight title, however a historic sixth general in 2021. He joins Facundo Bagnis (2016), Juan Ignacio Chela (2001) and Younes El Aynaoui (1998) as the one gamers to raise six singles trophies in a single season in ATP Challenger historical past.
Picture credit score: Remy Chautard
The Nimes native has been one of many breakout stars of the 12 months on the circuit. He credit his beautiful surge, which has seen him crack the High 100 of the FedEx ATP Rankings final month, to the work he and coach Lionel Zimbler have put in, each on and off the courtroom. A ‘extra serene’ Bonzi admits that enhancing his mentality between the traces has made the distinction.
Now, following his maiden title in Potchefstroom, South Africa, in February, and subsequent victories on the clay of Ostrava, Czech Republic and laborious courts of Segovia, Spain, Bonzi entered the month of September poised for a giant breakthrough. However not even he anticipated what would come subsequent, because the Frenchman accomplished the trifecta on residence soil in Saint-Tropez, Cassis and Rennes.
The 25-year-old is projected to rise to a career-high No. 61 within the FedEx ATP Rankings on Monday.
In different motion… Zdenek Kolar has quietly put collectively a breakthrough marketing campaign of his personal, because the rising Czech star continued his ascent with a 3rd ATP Challenger crown of the 12 months. He prevailed within the twenty eighth version of the Pekao Szczecin Open, refusing to drop a set all week en path to the title. Additionally the champion in Oeiras and Iasi, Kolar is the primary participant from the Czech Republic to raise three trophies in a season since 2013.
Two months after claiming the title on the laborious courts of the Atlantic Tire Championships in Cary, it was Mitchell Krueger who added yet one more crown to his haul – additionally in Cary. Krueger accomplished the sweep within the North Carolina metropolis, dropping only one set all week to raise the trophy. It was the third of his profession on the ATP Challenger Tour, rising to a career-high No. 156 within the FedEx ATP Rankings.
On the thirty fourth Istanbul Challenger TED Open, World No. 80 James Duckworth streaked to the title. It was ATP Challenger title No. 12 for the Aussie star, who rallied from a set all the way down to defeat Quentin Halys within the semi-finals and sprinted previous Tung-Lin Wu 6-4, 6-2 in Sunday’s championship conflict. Duckworth rises to a career-high No. 65 within the FedEx ATP Rankings.
The texture-good story of the week, if not the 12 months, got here from Quito, the place Facundo Mena paid tribute to his late father with a run to the title. The Argentine lifted his second ATP Challenger trophy and first since 2019, kicking off the South American swing in model. An emotional Mena devoted the victory to his father Gabriel, who handed away final 12 months.
“It is an unimaginable feeling to win this title,” mentioned Mena. “I did not know if I might get again to this second and it is extremely emotional for me.”