Ryan Peniston had a challenging but successful week at the ATP Challenger Tour event in Winnipeg, Canada. Despite facing blustery conditions, Peniston managed to win his first title at that level. He dropped only five games in his first three matches, but had to battle through a deciding set in both the semi-final and final matches. In the championship match, Peniston defeated #NextGenATP Swiss Leandro Riedi with a 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 scoreline. This victory was particularly special for Peniston, as he had previously lost three finals. He credited his ability to stay focused and take one match at a time for his success.
Peniston’s journey to the title was noteworthy because he entered the main draw as an alternate. Despite this disadvantage, he overcame the challenging weather conditions and emerged as the champion. Peniston mentioned that his experience playing in windy conditions by the sea during his upbringing helped him during the tournament. Currently ranked No. 208 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings, Peniston’s victory in Winnipeg was a major milestone in his career.
Another notable player at the Winnipeg tournament was British player Jack Draper. He made a successful comeback to the match court after being sidelined for two months due to a shoulder injury. Draper reached the quarter-finals in his first tournament since Roland Garros and expressed his excitement to participate in the ATP 250 event in Winston-Salem.
In a separate Challenger Tour event, Jesper de Jong had a remarkable week at the Lotto Kozerki Open in Grodzisk Mazowiecki, Poland. He did not drop a set throughout the entire tournament and defeated Lebanon’s Benjamin Hassan 6-3, 6-3 in the final to claim his first Challenger trophy since June 2021. De Jong acknowledged that winning the tournament meant a lot to him, as it was his first Challenger victory on hard court and elevated his career ranking to No. 143 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings. He was also preparing to qualify for his first major main-draw appearance at the US Open, highlighting the demanding schedule and dedication required of a professional tennis player.
Luciano Darderi, an #NextGenATP Italian player, enjoyed a dream week on home soil at the Internazionali di Tennis Citta di Todi. Seeded seventh, Darderi defeated Clement Tabur 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-1 in the final to secure his first Challenger crown. Having previously reached the final at the Buenos Aires Challenger in April, Darderi is currently ranked 18th in the Pepperstone ATP Live Next Gen Race as he aims to qualify for the Next Gen ATP Finals.
In Stanford, California, Frenchman Constant Lestienne claimed his seventh Challenger title at the Golden Gate Open. As the fourth seed, Lestienne had a dramatic comeback in the opening round, saving seven match points against Dane Sweeny. After surviving the early scare, he did not drop a set for the remainder of the tournament and ultimately defeated home player Emilio Nava 7-6(4), 6-2 in the final. This victory marked Lestienne’s first title since August of the previous year when he won the Vancouver Challenger. His career-high ranking of No. 48 in February challenges him to maintain his level of play and continue his success.
Overall, the ATP Challenger Tour events were filled with exciting matches and deserving champions. Ryan Peniston’s breakthrough triumph, Jack Draper’s comeback, Jesper de Jong’s dominant performance, Luciano Darderi’s first title, and Constant Lestienne’s resilience all showcased the talent and determination present on the Challenger Tour. These players continue to strive for success and aim for even greater accomplishments in their tennis careers.