Luca Van Assche, a 17-year-old Frenchman, has one goal for this year: to win an ATP Challenger Tour trophy. The 18-year-old achieved his objective Sunday at the Maia Open with the Challenger season almost over.
In Maia, Portugal, where he fought from a set down to upset Austrian qualifier Maximilian Neuchrist in the final match 3-6, 6-4, 6-0, Van Assche, who has advanced to four Challenger finals in the past two months, won his first ATP Challenger Tour prize.
Since Corentin Moutet won the Brest Challenger in 2017, Van Assche is the youngest French winner. He is one of nine adolescent Challenger champions this year. The 2021 Roland Garros boys' singles champion has reached a career-high ranking of 138 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings due to the victory in Portugal.