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Cerundolo claims back-to-back Challenger titles; Goffin returns to winners' circle

Argentine Juan Manuel Cerundolo is red hot on the red clay.

The 22-year-old claimed his second consecutive ATP Challenger Tour title Saturday when he won the Challenger Bolivia 2 in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, a week after he won in Lima.

Cerundolo defeated Ecuadorian Alvaro Guillen Meza 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 in the final after saving five of the 10 break points he faced, according to Infosys ATP Stats, and battled past physical struggles to lift his ninth ATP Challenger Tour trophy.

"It was a tough final against a strong opponent, made even more challenging by the wind and a blister,” said the top-seeded lefty, who is on a 10-match winning streak at the Challenger level. “Despite that, I went out to compete in the third set, and the victory came.”


This is not the first time Cerundolo has captured back-to-back titles on the ATP Challenger Tour. In January 2023, he opened the season by winning a pair of trophies in Tigre, Argentina.

In other ATP Challenger Tour action, David Goffin was crowned champion at the Lexus Ilkley Trophy, where the Belgian captured his first grass-court title. The former No. 7 in the PIF ATP Rankings dropped just one set en route to the title, racing past Frenchman Harold Mayot 6-4, 6-2 in the final.

"It was a really good week. Five solid grass matches and the level was there. It gives me a lot of confidence for [Wimbledon],” Goffin said. “It means a lot because I haven't won a trophy for some time and I managed to put it all together this week.”

A nine-time ATP Challenger Tour champion, Goffin has previously enjoyed final runs at the ATP Tour grass events in ‘s-Hertogenbosch (2015) and Halle (2019). The 33-year-old is the second Belgian to win the Ilkley Challenger in three years. Zizou Bergs triumphed at the 125 event in 2022.

There's a new grass court champion in town ?

Former World No.7 David Goffin secures the first grass court title of his career, defeating Mayot 6-4, 6-2 in the Ilkley final #ATPChallenger pic.twitter.com/7kYkyRFPM8

— ATP Challenger Tour (@ATPChallenger) June 22, 2024

Dutchman Jesper de Jong won the Emilia-Romagna Tennis Cup in Sassuolo, Italy, where he defeated Daniel Altmaier 7-6(5), 6-1 in the final. Following his title run, the 24-year-old De Jong is at a career-high No. 119 in the PIF ATP Rankings. De Jong rallied from a set down in the quarter-finals and semis to keep his title hopes alive, eventually claiming his third ATP Challenger Tour crown.

“It was a tiring week, but at the same time a fantastic one,” De Jong said. “My goal is to be in the Top 100 by the end of the year and this victory gives me a great push to move up in the rankings and be confident ahead of Wimbledon qualifying.”

Maks Kasnikowski is also at a career-high ranking, World No. 184, after winning the Enea Poznan Open. Cheered on by his home crowd, the 20-year-old Pole rallied past Argentine Camilo Ugo Carabelli 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 in the final to lift his second ATP Challenger Tour trophy of the year. Kasnikowski won the season-opening Oeiras Challenger.

a href='https://www.atptour.com/en/players/maks-kasnikowski/k0hc/overview'Maks Kasnikowski/a celebrates winning the Poznan Challenger.
Maks Kasnikowski celebrates winning the Poznan Challenger. Credit: Karolina Kiraga-Rychter/Enea Poznan Open

In the 29-year history of the Enea Poznan Open, Kasnikowski is the third Polish champion, joining Jerzy Janowicz (2012) and Hubert Hurkacz (2018). Kasnikowki is one of three players with ATP Challenger Tour titles on both clay and hard in 2024, alongside Sumit Nagal and Stefano Napolitano.

Lithuanian Ricardas Berankis did not drop a set all week at the Internationaux de Tennis de Blois in France to claim his 15th ATP Challenger Tour title. The 34-year-old, who ousted home hope Calvin Hemery 7-6(4), 7-5 in the final, is one of three active players with 15 ATP Challenger Tour titles (Facundo Bagnis, 17, and Mikhail Kukukshin, 15). Due to substantial rain all week in Blois, Berankis was forced to play all five of his matches indoors.


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