If Dudi Sela and Amir Weintraub both win their semifinal matches at the Leon Challenger today–against Donald Young and Jimmy Wang, respectively–it would the first time that two Israelis face off in a Challenger final, at least since the beginning of 1991, when my challenger database begins.
In over 2800 Challengers in that time span, 407 of them have ended with finals contested between countrymen. As you might guess, all-USA finals have been the most common, at 84, partly due to the former dominance of Americans in the sport and also owing to the large number of Challengers held on US soil. Next in line are Argentina (59) and Spain (52), two countries with the key combination of many events and a large pool of second-tier pros.
Perhaps more interesting are the countries at the bottom of list. Nations like Slovenia*, Taiwan, and Slovakia have more in common with Israel–few events in-country, with just a handful of players contesting Challengers. Those are the three most recent countries to join the list. Given the contemporary Challenger field, even more surprising are inclusions such as Norway, Denmark, Mexico, and Morocco, all of which enjoyed all-national Challenger finals in the 90s.
Given that 29 countries have experienced such a final, we might expect some nations that aren’t on the list. A few that come to mind are Switzerland (usually better represented than the current two players ranked between 20 and 300), Ukraine (currently six players between #98 and #300), and Portugal (surely Rui Machado and Frederico Gil will meet in a final eventually).
Here’s the full list, including the most recent final for each country:
Country CH Fs Date Event Winner Runner-up USA 84 20130204 Dallas CH Rhyne Williams Robby Ginepri ARG 59 20120730 Manta CH Guido Pella Maximiliano Estevez ESP 52 20121112 Marbella CH Albert Montanes Daniel Munoz De La Nava GER 39 20130121 Heilbronn CH Michael Berrer Jan Lennard Struff FRA 36 20121001 Mons CH Kenny De Schepper Michael Llodra ITA 31 20110718 Orbetello CH Filippo Volandri Matteo Viola CZE 24 20120312 Sarajevo CH Jan Hernych Jan Mertl BRA 20 20120910 Cali CH Joao Souza Thiago Alves AUS 17 20130225 Sydney1 CH Nick Kyrgios Matt Reid NED 5 20100906 Alphen CH Jesse Huta Galung Thomas Schoorel BEL 4 20120924 Orleans CH David Goffin Ruben Bemelmans ROU 4 20120806 Sibiu CH Adrian Ungur Victor Hanescu AUT 4 20070716 Rimini CH Oliver Marach Daniel Koellerer COL 3 20120709 Bogota CH Alejandro Falla Santiago Giraldo JPN 3 20120423 Kaohsiung CH Go Soeda Tatsuma Ito RSA 3 20110411 Johannesburg CH Izak Van Der Merwe Rik De Voest SWE 3 19931101 Aachen CH Jonas Bjorkman Jan Apell RUS 2 20100823 Astana CH Igor Kunitsyn Konstantin Kravchuk GBR 2 20050704 Nottingham CH Alex Bogdanovic Mark Hilton CAN 2 19991129 Urbana CH Frederic Niemeyer Sebastien Lareau IND 2 19990412 New Delhi CH Leander Paes Mahesh Bhupathi SLO 1 20120716 An-Ning CH Grega Zemlja Aljaz Bedene TPE 1 20111017 Seoul CH Yen Hsun Lu Jimmy Wang SVK 1 20100809 Samarkand CH Andrej Martin Marek Semjan NOR 1 19980601 Furth CH Christian Ruud Jan Frode Andersen ECU 1 19960715 Quito CH Pablo Campana Luis Adrian Morejon DEN 1 19960226 Hamburg CH Kenneth Carlsen Frederik Fetterlein MAR 1 19950814 Geneva CH Younes El Aynaoui Karim Alami MEX 1 19920427 Acapulco CH Leonardo Lavalle Luis Herrera
TennisAbstract.com update: If you like ATP stats, you’ll love the new leaders page. It allows you to compare the ATP top 50 across nearly 60 different metrics, and filter matches in all the same ways you can on player pages. Find out who hits the most aces on clay, who plays the most tiebreaks in Masters events, who has faced the toughest opponents, or just spend the rest of your afternoon tinkering with the thousands of possible permutations. It’s very much a work in progress, so (a) let me know if you have suggestions or come across a bug; and (b) don’t be shocked if I occasionally break it while trying to improve it.
Also, I’ve created a “current tournaments” page that aggregates all matches (completed and upcoming) at this week’s events. It’s a great way to get a quick overview of what’s happening this week, and with next week’s qualifying draws released, you can also use the filters to zero in on, say, all Americans who are still alive in some ATP, WTA, or Challenger event.
Finally, don’t miss the Player Schedules page, which aggregates ATP and Challenger entry lists to show you who is playing where for the next six weeks.