June 2013 ATP Challenger Tour Recap: Stepanek and Johnson Take Titles, Carreno-Busta Continues Meteoric Rise
Prostejov Challenger (June 3-June 9, 2013)
Veteran Radek Stepanek won at home on clay in the Czech Republic in straight sets over his young countryman Jiri Vesely. Stepanek beat Teymuraz Gabashvili in the semis while Vesely beat Peter Gojowczyk, both in 3 sets. Vesely also beat Lukas Rosol and Gabashvili beat the top seed Florian Mayer as well in notable upsets.
Arad Challenger (June 3-June 9, 2013)
In Romania on clay, another home player and veteran, Adrian Ungur, took the title over another home finalist, Marius Copil. Ungur beat Pere Riba in the semis while Copil beat Jonathan Eysseric.
Caltanissetta Challenger (June 3-June 9, 2013)
In Italy on clay, Serbian Dusan Lajovic raced to the title in upsetting Robin Haase in the final and improving to a career high ranking of 114 at the age of 23. Lajovic beat Somdev Devvarman in the semis while Haase beat Potito Starace. Pablo Carreno-Busta beat the top seed Martin Klizan in the opening round, but then lost in round 2 to Dominik Meffert in an upset.
Furth Challenger (June 3-June 9, 2013)
In Germany on clay, Joao Sousa of Portugal rode the momentum of quality play at Roland Garros to a victory over Wayne Odesnik in the final. Sousa is back near the top 100 and beat Andreas Haider-Maurer in the semis while Odesnik beat Cedrik Marcel-Stebe.
Nottingham Challenger (June 3-June 9, 2013)
In England on grass, in a tournament stacked with talent, Aussie Matt Ebden finally returned to the winners circle after a flat half year. Ebden beat grass courter Benjamin Becker in the final after beating Bobby Reynolds in the semis, and Becker beat eventual Wimbledon round of 16 participant Kenny De Schepper in the semis.
Blois Challenger (June 10-June 16, 2013)
In France on clay, German and eventual Wimbledon qualifier Julian Reister took out Dusan Lajovic in 3 sets. Reister continued his fine month of play. Reister beat Paul Capdeville and Lajovic beat Marc Gicquel in the semis.
Kosice Challenger (June 10-June 16, 2013)
In Slovakia on clay, an otherwise struggling Mikhail Kukushkin finally found his form and beat Damir Dzumhur in the final to push himself back in the top 200. Kuku beat Andre Ghem in the semis while Dzumhur beat Radu Albot. Dzumhur also knocked off Joao Sousa in an earlier round while Ghem did the same against 2 seed Adrian Ungur. Henri Laaksonen upset top seed Jan Hajek in the opening round.
Nottingham-2 Challenger (June 10-June 16, 2013)
Steve Johnson won his 2nd career challenger, this time on grass in the 2nd Nottingham event over Ruben Bemelmans. In the semis, Johnson beat Somdev Devvarman while Bemelmans beat Rik De Voest.
Prague Challenger (June 10-June 16, 2013)
In Prague on clay, Ukrainian Oleksandr Nedovyesov took the title over Spaniard Javier Marti after beating Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo in the semis. Marti beat Ivo Minar.
Milan Challenger (June 17-June 23, 2013)
The veteran Filippo Volandri beat Andrej Martin on Clay in Milan to give himself double-digit career challenger titles. Volandri, now back in the top 100 at 31, beat Andrea Arnaboldi in the semis while Martin beat Norbert Gombos. Most of the seeds were knocked out early, including 2 seed Diego Sebastian Schwartzman, who fell to 22 year old wild card Riccardo Sinicropi.
Tanger Challenger (June 17-June 23, 2013)
Pablo Carreno-Busta beat a rejuvenated Mikhail Kukushkin and bumped himself up to a career high ranking of 126 after taking the title in Morocco on clay. PCB beat qualifier Lorenzo Giustino in the semis while Kukushkin beat Adrian Sikora. The Spaniard continues to edge closer to full-time ATP play and very well could be the next Spanish name to make a mark at the main tour level.
Marburg Challenger (June 24-June 30, 2013)
Andrey Golubev had by far his best showing of the year and won his first title at any level since 2010 in Marburg, Germany on clay. He beat Diego Sebastian Schwartzman in the final in straight sets and Jesse Huta Galung in the semis just the same. Schwartzman beat fellow Argentine Maximo Gonzalez in the semis.
—Steen Kirby, TennisEastCoast.com