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Blanchet with the Malaga Open trophy, a model of the city's lighthouse. Julio Salcedo
Tennis

Underdog exceeds all expectations to become Malaga Open tennis champion

Frenchman Ugo Blanchet's incredible week will see him propelled up the world tennis rankings from 324th to 209th

Pedro Luis Alonso

Malaga

Monday, 16 October 2023, 07:43

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The last few days have been a whirlwind for French tennis player Ugo Blanchet. On Sunday at the Inacua Racquet Centre in Malaga city, the 24-year-old achieved the biggest milestone of his career: victory in the Malaga Open.

Ranked 324th in the world, this was the very first time he competed in a high-level Challenger tournament. And to make the achievement even more remarkable, he won it without dropping a single set.

Blanchet's journey to success included defeating players like Spaniard Daniel Rincón, Italy's Flavio Cobolli, compatriots Constant Lestienne and Maxime Janvier, and culminated in a hard-fought final against Mattia Belucci.

Despite facing an opponent with a higher ranking and more experience, Blanchet remained focused and won the match with a double 6-4 score in one hour and 38 minutes.

This victory marks a significant turning point in the Frenchman's career having showcased his potential in the world of professional tennis.

New doors will open

With seven victories in just a week and considerable physical and mental strain, Blanchet's ATP ranking has skyrocketed, going from 324th to 209th.

His triumph will open up new opportunities for him, including easier access to ATP Challenger Tour events and a chance to compete in the qualifying rounds of Grand Slam tournaments.

Despite his relatively small stature at 1.75 metres, in Malaga Blanchet displayed solid baseline play, deft drop shots and remarkable composure on the court.

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