Sergiy Stakhovsky and Marco Chiudinelli lead the field at the 2016 Andria e Castel del Monte Challenger, live from Andria, Italy from 21-27 November 2016.
A pair of popular veterans, Sergiy Stakhovsky and Marco Chiudinelli, lead the field at the 2016 Andria e Castel de Monte Challenger, live from Andria, Italy in the final week of the 2016 ATP Challenger Tour.
There's just one more week and one more chance for the players who ply their living on the ATP Challenger Tour - from top-50 ranked ATP World Tour pros hoping to scrape up some more ranking points, to grizzled veterans refusing to call time on their careers, to up-and-comers trying to break into the top 100 and everything in between - to end the 2016 season with as many points as possible, and many of the finest players on the Challenger scene have returned to Andria, a picturesque city in the Apulia region of southern Italy, for the 2016 edition of the Andria e Castel de Monte Challenger.
Named after the Castel de Monte, an imposing 13th-century fortress so distinctive in appearance that it is depicted on Italy's one-euro coin, the Andria e Castel de Monte Challenger is one of a number of Challenger tournaments played in Italy throughout the year. Unlike most of the Challengers in Italy, which are generally played on the clay with which its finest players have been synonymous, the Andria Challenger is played indoors and on a rare, quick surface on the ATP World Tour and Challenger Tours - carpet.
With a total prize money commitment of €42,500 and prize money of €6,150 for the champion as well as 90 ranking points, there is plenty of incentive to finish one's season at the Andria Challenger, which has been a popular addition to the ATP Challenger Tour since its inception in 2013. Hungary's Marton Fucsovics as the first man to win the title in Andria when he defeated charismatic German serve-and-volley player Dustin 'Dreddy' Brown, followed by Lithuania's Ricardas Berankis in 2014 when he beat Georgia's Nikoloz Basilashvili. The 2015 edition of the tournament saw Croatian veteran and top doubles player Ivan Dodig take the title, defeating another veteran - Germany's Michael Berrer - in the final.
One of three Challenger tournaments being played in the final week of competition in late November, as even the hard-working Challenger players are preparing for their off-season, the 2016 Andria e Castel de Monte Challenger welcomes a strong field led by Sergiy Stakhovsky when its 2016 edition begins on Monday 21 November. Ranked as high as world no. 30 in 2010, the year he won two of his four ATP World Tour titles, Stakhovsky is currently ranked world no. 115 and is perhaps best known for beating Roger Federer in the second round of Wimbledon in 2013.
Stakhovsky is looking for his second Challenger Tour title of 2016 after beating Yen-Hsun Lu in the final of Seoul earlier in the year. The Ukrainian player made the semifinals of the Bratislava Challenger two weeks ago and his serve-and-volley style should flourish on the fast surface of Andria. Top seed Stakhovsky is joined by Marco Chiudinelli, the Swiss veteran best known as a member of Switzerland's Davis Cup team who won their first title in 2014. The 35-year-old Swiss player was ranked as high as world no. 52 in 2010 and has had a strong season on the Challenger Tour, winning the title in Wroclaw in February and finishing runner-up to Mikhail Youzhny in Manila.
Stakhovsky and Chiudinelli are joined by Stefanos Tsitsipas, the 18-year-old Greek currently ranked just outside the top 200 who is beginning to make a name for himself. Having started 2016 ranked world no. 574, Tsitsipas - currently the world's no. 2 junior player - four ITF titles in 2016 and two runner-up Challenger Tour finishes have seen Tsitsipas rise all the way to his current ranking of world no. 207 and he is definitely a player to watch.
This intriguing mix of veterans and young guns promises an exciting week at the 2016 Andria e Castel del Monte Challenger.
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