Challenger Roundup: Week 9
$50k+H - Hard (Indoor)
Federico Luzzi (ITA) d. (8)Mathieu Montcourt (FRA) 6-4 6-0
(q)Jerome Haehnel (FRA) d. (SE)Edouard Roger-Vasselin (FRA) 6-2 7-5
Federico Luzzi (ITA) d. (q)Jerome Haehnel (FRA) 7-5 7-6(6)
Federico Luzzi, the man who was once suspended for punching Daniel Koellerer, takes his first title of the year. (As did Koellerer in Italy F3 last week, incidentally...). He beats qualifier Jerome Haehnel, one of the quintessential French journeymen. Mathieu Montcourt continues to perform well with his second semifinal in a row, while Roger-Vasselin follows up a finals appearance in Besancon with a SF in Cherbourg. He's now well established in the top 200 at #166.
$25,000+H - Carpet (Indoor)
(LL)Daniel Brands (GER) d. (1)Alexander Peya (AUT) 4-6 6-4 6-3
(8)Robin Haase (NED) d. (2)Alexander Waske (GER) 6-4 7-6(4)
(8)Robin Haase (NED) d. (LL)Daniel Brands (GER) 6-2 3-6 6-1
If anybody doesn't know who Robin Haase is by now...you should. At 19 he is a very promising prospect from the Netherlands. Along with Thiemo de Bakker, they have a good chance of giving the Dutch a consistent presence on the ATP Tour for a long time. He picks up his first title of the year and moves up to #137.
Daniel Brands, another 19 year old, makes the most of his Lucky Loser opportunity and makes a run all the way to the finals. A very big result for him as he moves up 126 spots to #362. We'll see if he can ride this success further up the ladder - he had had three futures QFs under his belt this year, but not much more.
Waske is one of the older players on tour and Peya is 26. Peya is potentially having a career year - he reached the SF in Zagreb and has now broken into the top 100 for the first time at #96. We'll see if he can overtake Stefan Koubek as the #2 Austrian.