James Duckworth is edging closer to a top-100 return after reaching another ATP Challenger singles final in Canada this week.
Australia, 19 November 2023 | Leigh Rogers
History was made at the ATP Finals this week, with three Australians making their debut at the prestigious season-ending championships. This was the first time this has happened in 36 years.
Matt Ebden was the top performer, progressing to the semifinals alongside India’s Rohan Bopanna. That efforts sees the duo finish an outstanding season as the world’s second-best performing team.
James Duckworth continues to perform strongly at ATP Challenger level, contesting his third final from his past four events. The world No.113 has now won 15 of his past 17 matches.
John-Patrick Smith is also finishing the season in red-hot form, winning his second ATP Challenger doubles title from the past three weeks with Sam Verbeek of the Netherlands.
The most outstanding performers this week include:
Matt Ebden: The 35-year-old advanced to the doubles semifinals at the ATP Finals alongside Indian partner Rohan Bopanna. This was the best result for an Australian at the prestigious season-ending championships since 2017.
Rinky Hijikata and Jason Kubler: The reigning Australian Open champions made their ATP Finals debut. Aged 22, Hijikata became the youngest doubles player to qualify for the tournament in 28 years.
John-Patrick Smith: The 34-year-old won the doubles title at an ATP Challenger event in Champaign (USA) alongside Sam Verveek of the Netherlands. It is Smith’s second title of the season, from eight finals appearances.
James Duckworth: The 31-year-old finished runners-up in the singles competition at an ATP Challenger tournament in Drummondville (Canada). This was Duckworth’s sixth final appearance of the season and his third from his past four tournaments.
Li Tu: The 27-year-old advanced to the singles semifinals at an ATP Challenger tournament in Drummondville, where he lost to compatriot James Duckworth.
Andrew Harris: The 29-year-old was a doubles finalist at an ATP Challenger tournament in Kobe (Japan) with Korean Jisung Nam. It was Harris’ ninth finals appearance of the season.
Moerani Bouzige: The 24-year-old eliminated two seeded opponents to advance to the singles semifinals at an ITF 25 tournament in Hua Hin (Thailand).
Thomas Pavlekovich Smith and Lawrence Sciglitano: The Aussie duo won the doubles title at an ITF 15 tournament in Boca Raton (USA). This is 22-year-old Smith’s first professional title and 24-year-old Sciglitano’s second ITF title.
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